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Biographical entry Lane, William Reade (1914 - 1974)

18 April 1914
New South Wales, Australia
4 March 1974
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Medical scientist


William Lane was a medical scientist best known as Director of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL) from 1966 to 1974. After being medically discharged from the Australian Army Medical Corps in 1942 he was in private practice in rural Victoria for 18 years, doing all his own clinical laboratory work in the absence of reliable alternative services. In 1960 he returned to Melbourne to study microbiology. Lane was appointed to the staff of CSL in 1961, becoming Director five years later. As Director he balanced commercial interests against those of research and development, modernised the laboratories, and encouraged collaborations with other organisations.



Education - MB BS, University of Melbourne
1939 - 1940
Career position - Resident Medical Officer, Melbourne Hospital
1940 - 1942
Career position - Served with Australian Army Medical Corps
1942 - 1960
Career position - In general practice, Castlemaine, Victoria
1961 - 1962
Career position - Researcher, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories
1962 - 1966
Career position - Chief of Research, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories
Education - MSc, University of Melbourne
1966 - 1974
Career position - Director, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories Commission
1972 - 1974
Award - Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians

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Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • William Reade Lane - Records, 1903 - 1974, MS 5219; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

Published resources


  • McDonald, G. L., Roll of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Sydney: Royal Australasian College of Physicians, 1988), 332 pp. Details

Journal Articles

  • Galbraith, Douglas, Sutherland, Struan and Nossal, G., 'William Reade Lane', Medical Journal of Australia, 1974 (2) (1974), 376-7. Details


McCarthy, G.J. and Helen Cohn