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Biographical entry Wiener, Saul (1923 - 2010)


25 July 1923
Bremen, Germany
15 September 2010
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Cytogeneticist and Immunologist


Saul Wiener made major contributions to toxinology and human genetics. He is renowned for developing the Redback Spider antivenom and the world's first marine antivenom, for Stonefish, both in the 1950s. This work was done while a Research Officer with the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories and fitted around his primary responsibilities such as preparations for the Salk poliomyelitis vaccine trial. He also worked on venoms from the Funnel Web Spider, box jellyfish, and cone snails, and made early attempts at the active immunisation of humans against snake venom. After leaving CSL Wiener concentrated on allergies and immunology, later moving into cytogenetics. His research on the Familial X-linked mental retardation ('Fragile X' syndrome) was among the earliest studies on this condition.



Life event - Migrated to Australia
Education - MB BS, University of Melbourne
1947 - 1948
Career position - Resident Medical Officer, Royal Hobart Hospital
1948 - 1951
Career position - Research Scholar, Microbiology, University of Melbourne
1952 - 1958
Career position - Research Officer, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories
Education - PhD, University of Melbourne
1955 - 1960
Career position - Clinical Assistant, Prince Henry's Hospital, Melbourne
1958 - 1960
Career position - Research Fellow, Anti-Cancer Council, Melbourne
Education - MD, University of Melbourne
1960 - 1961
Career position - Fulbright Scholar, Columbia University, New York, U.S.A.
1962 - 1983
Career position - Allergist, Royal Melbourne Hospital
1964 - 1984
Career position - Consultant Cytogenetic Pathologist, Mental Hygiene Department
1970 - 2010
Career position - Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
1983 - 1999
Career position - Honorary Allergy Consultant, Royal Melbourne Hospital
1985 - 1999
Career position - Cytogenetic Pathologist, Queen Victoria Medical Centre, Melbourne
Award - Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to science, and to medical research through contributions to the development of the Redback Spider and Stonefish antivenom, and as an allergist

Related Corporate Bodies

Published resources

Journal Articles

  • Winkel, Ken, 'Saul Wiener AM 1823 - 2010', Chiron, 2011 (2011), 29. Details
  • Winkel, Kenneth D., Mirtschin, Peter and Pearn, John, 'Twentieth Century Toxinology and Antivenom development in Australia', Toxicon, 48 (7) (2006), 738-754 . Details


See also

  • Mirtschin, Peter, 'The Pioneers of Venom Production for Australian Antivenoms', Toxicon, 48 (7) (2009), 899-918 . Details

Helen Cohn