Sir Gustav Nossal
Sir Gus Nossal was born in Bad Ischl, Austria in 1931 and came to Australia with his family in 1939. He became one of Australia’s most celebrated medical scientists and humanitarians. He studied Medicine at The University of Sydney and, after two years’ residency at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, he moved to Melbourne to work as a Research Fellow at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and in 1965 he was appointed Director, a position he held from 1965 to 1996.
Sir Gus was knighted in 1977 and made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1989. Amongst his numerous honours are fellowship of the Royal Society of London; Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences; Member of the Academie des Sciences, France; the Robert Koch Gold Medal, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science, and the Emil von Behring Prize.
His research accomplishments are world-renowned. His classic work confirming Burnet’s theory of antibody formation was a watershed in understanding the immune system. As researcher and as Director of The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research he helped build the foundations of modern immunology while working to improve global health through his long-term involvement with the World Health Organization (WHO), most recently as Chairman of the Global Programme for Vaccines and Immunization. Sir Gustav is currently a consultant for the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He was formerly Chairman of The Global Foundation Advisory Committee and Deputy Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation from 1998 to 2000. Knighted in 1977, he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1989 and appointed Australian of the Year in 2000.