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Sir Macfarlane Burnet

Burnet, Sir Macfarlane, 1899–1985, Australian virologist and physician. He was resident pathologist (1923–24) at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and a Beit fellow (1926–27) at the Lister Institute, London. He became assistant director (1928) and director (1944) of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. From 1944 he was professor of experimental medicine at the Univ. of Melbourne. He lectured at several universities in the United States, including Harvard (1944), Johns Hopkins (1950), and Vanderbilt (1958). An expert on viruses and virus diseases, Burnet made important contributions to the understanding of influenza and the development of immunity against it. He shared the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with P. B. Medawar for their work in immunological tolerances, specifically the reactions of the body to the transplantation of foreign living tissues. His writings include Natural History of Infectious Disease (3d ed. 1962) and Viruses and Man (2d ed. 1955).

See his autobiography (1969).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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