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Information Sheet
Australian Nobel Laureates

William Bragg (1862-1942)
Physicist. William Bragg was Traralgoborn in England and moved to Australia to take up the position of Professor of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Adelaide (1886-1909). He won the Nobel Prize in Physics 1915, with his son Lawrence, 'for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays'. He then moved back to England to be a Professor at the University of Leeds 1909-15, and University College, London 1915-23. He became Director of the Royal Institution to 1942.

Lawrence Bragg (1890-1971)
Physicist. Lawrence Bragg was born and educated in Adelaide. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics 1915, with his father William, 'for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays'. He moved to England where he became Professor of Physics at Victoria University, Manchester, between 1919 and 1937. He was then Professor of Physics at Cambridge University, 1938-54, and Director of the Royal Institution, 1954-66.

Frank Macfarlane Burnet (1899-1985)
Medical Scientist and Biologist. Born in Traralgon, Victoria, Burnet was was Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne between 1944 and 1966. He was awarded the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1960, along with P. Medawar, 'for discovery of acquired immunological tolerance'. His areas of research included antibodies, polio, myxomatosis, and many other topics.

John Warcup Cornforth (1917- )
Chemist. Cornforth was born in Sydney, New South Wales. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1975 (jointly) 'for his work on the stereochemistry of enzyme-catalyzed reactions'. He was the Professor and Research Professor, University of Sussex, 1971-82.

Peter Doherty (1940- )
Immunologist. Peter Doherty was born in Queensland and is currently Professor of Biomedical Research and Chair of the Immunology Department at St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Tennessee, USA. He received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine 1996 (jointly) 'for discoveries concerning the specificity of the cell mediated immune defence'.

John Carew Eccles (1903-1997)
Physiologist. Eccles was born in Melbourne, Victoria. He worked in Britain between 1927 and 1937, and returned to Australia to become Director, Kanematsu Memorial Institute of Pathology at Sydney Hospital (1937-43). He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1963 (jointly) 'for discoveries concerning the ionic mechanisms involved in excitation and inhibition in the peripheral and central portions of the nerve cell membrane' (work he undertook in the 1930s). He was Professor of Physiology at the Australian National University (1951-66), followed by Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the State University of New York, Buffalo 1968-75.

Howard Walter Florey (1898-1968)
Pathologist. Florey was born in Adelaide, South Australia. He was Professor of Pathology at the University of Sheffield between 1931 and 1935, and then at the University of Oxford (1935-62). He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1945 'for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases'. He was also the Chancellor of the Australian National University (1965-68).

Bernard Katz (1911- )
Physiologist. Katz was born in Leipzig, Germany. The majority of his working life was spent in Britain at the University College London, where he became Professor of Biophysics in 1952. Katz was a Carnegie Research Fellow in Eccles' laboratory at the Kanematsu Institute, Sydney Hospital, between 1939 and 1942, and served as a Radar Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force between 1942 and 1945. He received the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine 1970 (jointly) 'for discoveries concerning the humoral transmittors in the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation'.

Aleksandr Mikhailovich Prokhorov (1916- )
Physicist. Prokhorov was born in Atherton, Queensland. In 1923, he moved to the USSR with his parents following the Great October Revolution. He spent the rest of his life in the USSR. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics 1964 (jointly) 'for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle'.

Robert Robinson (1886-1975)
Organic Chemist. Robinson was born in Chesterfield, UK. He spent three years at the University of Sydney (1913-15) as Professor of Organic Chemistry (Pure and Applied). He returned to the UK to work and was Professor at a number of universities, finishing his career as Professor of Chemistry at Oxford University between 1930 and 1955. He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1947 'for his investigations on plant products of biological importance, especially the alkaloids'.

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Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 30 June 1997
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