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Biographical entry Nossal, Gustav Joseph Victor (1931 - )


4 June 1931
Medical scientist and Immunologist


Sir Gustav Nossal was Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research 1965-1996 and Professor of Medical Biology at the University of Melbourne. He is distinguished for his contributions to the fields of antibody formation and immunological tolerance. In 1996 he was one of the founders of Foursight, a company providing advice on R&D and science to companies, investment institutions, academics and government.


Born 4 June 1931. Educated Universities of Sydney (BSc (Med) 1952, MB, BS 1954) and Melbourne (PhD 1960). CBE 1970, Kt 1977, AC 1989. Junior and Senior Resident Officer, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney 1955-56, Research Fellow, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research 1957-59, Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine 1959-61, Deputy Director (Immunology), Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research 1961-65, Director 1965-96, Professor of Medical Biology, University of Melbourne 1965-96. President, Australian Academy of Science 1994-98. Research Medal of the Royal Society of Victoria 1964, Outstanding Young Man of the Year Award, Junior Chamber International 1965-66, Fellow, Australian Academy of Science 1967, Burnet Medal, Australian Academy of Science 1979, Fellow, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering 1981, Fellow, Royal Society 1982, ANZAAS Medal 1982, Advance Australia Award 1987, James Cook Medal of the Royal Society of New South Wales 1995, Australian of the Year 2000 and numerous other international awards and honorary doctorates.

Archival resources

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

  • Gustav Joseph Victor Nossal - Records, 1931 - 1986; The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Details

Published resources


  • Ian Clunies Ross Memorial Foundation, Achievements and challenges for Australian science: Distinguished Lecture Series 1993, Parkville (Vic.), 1993, 55 pp. Details
  • Nossal, Gustav, Diversity and Discovery: the History of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, 1965-1996, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, Vic., 2007, 320 pp. Details

Book Sections

Edited Books

  • Moyal, Ann (ed.), Portraits in Science, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 1994, 209 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Anderson, Warwick, 'An "Accidental Immunologist": an Interview with Professor Sir Gustav Nossal', Health and History, vol. 16, no. 2, 2014, pp. 115-39. Details
  • Cunningham, Tony, Mackenzie, John, Nossal, Gustav and Rawlinson, William, 'Obituary: Professor Geoffrey Randolph Shellam', Microbiology Australia, vol. 2015, November, 2015, pp. 200-1. Details
  • Galbraith, Douglas, Sutherland, Struan and Nossal, G., 'William Reade Lane', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 1974, no. 2, 1974, pp. 376-7. Details
  • Marchalonis, John J., 'Burnet and Nossal: the Impact of Immunology on the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute', Quaterly Review of Biology, vol. 69, 1994, pp. 53-67. Details
  • Nossal, G. J. V., 'Sir Frank MacFarlane Burnet (1899-1985)', Nature, vol. 317, 1985, p. 108. Details
  • Nossal, G.J., 'The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research 1965-1995: From Basic Research to Clinical Triumphs.', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 163, no. 11-12, 1995, pp. 599-603. Details
  • Nossal, G.J., 'Choices Following Antigen Entry: Antibody Formation or immunologic Tolerance?', Annual Review of Immunology, vol. 13, 1995, pp. 1-27. Details
  • Nossal, Gustaf J. V., 'The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research: 1915-1985', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 143, 1985, pp. 153-157. Details
  • Nossal, Gustav, 'Some Landmarks in Australian Immunology', Immunology and Cell Biology, vol. 69, no. 5, 1991, pp. 327-335. Details
  • Nossal, Gustav, 'Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet, OM, FRS, Nobel Laureate, 1899-1985', Eureka Street, vol. 9, no. 7, 1999, pp. 22-27. Details
  • Nossal, Gustav J. V. and Parish, Christopher R., 'Gordon Leslie Ada 1922-2012', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 26, 2015, pp. 164-78. Details

Online Resources

See also

McCarthy, G.J.