Sir Gustav Nossal
(Australia)
AC, CBE, FAA, FRS

GUSTAV NOSSAL was born in Bad Ischl, Austria, in 1931, and came to Australia with his family in 1939. He studied Medicine at The University of Sydney and, after residency at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, took his PhD at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. Apart from two years as Assistant Professor of Genetics at Stanford University, one year at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and one year as a Special Consultant to the World Health Organization, all Nossal's research career has been at the Hall Institute, of which he served as Director (1965-1996). Nossal was also Professor of Medical Biology at The University of Melbourne.

Nossal's research is in fundamental immunology, and he has written seven books and 530 scientific articles in this and related fields. Nossal has been President (1986-1989) of the 30,000-member world body of immunology, the International Union of Immunological Societies; President of the Australian Academy of Science (1994-1998); a member of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council (1989 to 1998); and Chairman of the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (1987-1996). He has been Chairman of the committee overseeing the World Health Organization's Vaccines and Biologicals Program (1993-2002) and Chairman of the Strategic Advisory Council of the Bill and Melinda Gates Children's Vaccine Program (1998-2003).

Nossal was knighted in 1977, made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1989 and appointed Australian of the Year in 2000. He has received numerous other honours from 16 countries. Amongst the most significant are Fellow of The Royal Society of London, Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, Member of the Academie des Sciences, France, the Robert Koch Gold Medal, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science, the Emil von Behring Prize, the Rabbi Shai Shacknai Prize, and over 130 named lectureships in thirteen countries.

Nossal is also involved in the business community as a Principal of Foursight Associates Pty Ltd; and in international advancement of Australia as Patron of The Global Foundation. He was involved in charitable work as Chairman of The Felton Bequests' Committee from 1969 to 2004 and in Aboriginal affairs as Deputy Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation from 1998 to 2000.

Debate: Is philanthropy future ready?

AFFIRMATIVE

  • Tony Kalm, One Acre Fund 
  • Sue Cunningham, CASE
  • Michael Lynch AM, Sydney Community Foundation

NEGATIVE

  • Lani Evans, Vodafone NZ Foundation
  • José Pedro Ferrão, United Way
  • Caitriona Fay, Perpetual Limited

Watch

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