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Biographical entry Freeman, Shirley Estelle (1924 - 2014)


21 October 1924
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
28 December 2014
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Shirley Freeman was a pharmacologist whose early career was at the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories and the Baker Institute. Her work with Paul Fantl on the mechanism of blood clotting led to the development of warfarin. For six years Freeman was on the staff of the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Melbourne, ending as Acting Head of Department. In 1966 Freeman moved to the Defence Science and Technology Organisation at Maribyrnong, joining the Physiology Group. The work of the Group was to provide advice on effects of chemical warfare agents, particularly on the treatment of casualties in the field. Other research included work on the toxins of the Sea Wasp and the Blue-Ringed Octopus. During her time at DSTO the emphasis shifted from effects of toxic agents to chemical detection and synthesis. Freeman became an expert adviser to Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on early international negotiations towards a Chemical Weapons Disarmament Convention.



Education - BSc, University of Melbourne
Career position - Burroughs Wellcome Research Fellow
Education - PhD, University of Melbourne
1959 - 1960
Career position - Research Fellow, University of Melbourne
1961 - 1964
Career position - Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne
1964 - 1965
Career position - Acting Head, Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne
Education - DSc, University of Melbourne
Career event - Joined the Defence Science and Technology Organisation
Life event - Retired as Senior Principal Research Scientist
12 June 1989
Award - Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of public service

Published resources

Newspaper Articles

  • Rickards, Jenny and Crone, Hugh, 'Pharmacologist became adviser on chemical weapon disarmament: Shirley Freeman, pharmacologist, 21-10-1924 - 28-12-2014', The Age (2015), 35. Details


See also

Rosanne Walker and Helen Cohn