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Biographical entry Porter, Robert (1932 - )


10 September 1932
Port Augusta, South Australia, Australia
Medical scientist and Physiologist


Robert Porter was the Howard Florey Professor of Medical Research and Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University from 1980. Earlier he was Professor of Physiology, Monash University 1967-1980. His research interests include the following:
Neurophysiology, particularly cellular mechanisms and synaptic connections between nerve cells involved in the brain's control of movement. Research on central nervous system structure and function in primates as it relates to problems of medical concern in central nervous system disease and injury. Rehabilitation of movement performance in patients following head injury and nervous system disease. Brain development in children and learning: specific learning disabilities. Restoration of function after nervous system damage by nerve transplantation surgery. Epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Minimal Brain Dysfunction, Specific Learning Disorders. Diagnostic methods for the examination of the human nervous system - magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET).


Born Port Augusta, South Australia, 10 September 1932. Educated Universities of Adelaide (BMedSc 1954, DSc 1974) and Oxford (BA 1956, BMBCh 1959, MA 1960, DM 1970). House Physician to Sir George Pickering, Oxford, House Surgeon to Mr A. Elliot-Smith, Oxford and general practice, Faringdon, Berkshire 1959-60; Departmental Demonstrator, University Laboratory of Physiology, University of Oxford 1960-63, University Lecturer in Physiology 1964-67; Professor of Physiology and Chairman of the Department of Physiology, Monash University 1967-80; Director and Howard Florey Professor of Medical Research, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University 1980-89; Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Monash University 1989-1998, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) (half-time 1992-93, full-time Jan-June 1993); Planning Dean (Medicine), James Cook University of North Queensland 1998-present. Fellow, Australian Academy of Science 1974; Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians 1981; Fellow, Royal Australian College of Medical Administrators 1996. Rhodes Scholar for South Australia 1954; Chairman, Medical Research Committee 1980-83; Chairman, Committee of Deans of Australian Medical Schools 1990-93.

Related Corporate Bodies

Archival resources

Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science

  • Robert Porter - Records, 1974 - 1990, MS 163; Adolph Basser Library, Australian Academy of Science. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Journal Articles

  • Porter, R., 'The John Curtin School of Medical Research', Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 142, 1985, pp. 205-213. Details
  • Porter, R., Proske, U. and Mark, R. F., 'Archibald Keverall McIntyre, 1913-2002', Historical Records of Australian Science, vol. 15, no. 1, 2004, pp. 77-94. Also available at Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J. & Rosanne Walker