Alumni Profiles

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet OM, AK, KBE

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet OM, AK, KBE

Nobel Prize winning virologist

Sir Macfarlane Burnet (1899–1985) was Australia’s most highly decorated scientist. He made a series of breakthroughs in our understanding of viruses, immune responses and the treatment of infectious diseases, including a method for producing influenza vaccines that is still in use today. His work won him a host of international scientific medals and awards including a knighthood and a Nobel Prize.


‘Mac’ arrived at Ormond in 1916 on a full scholarship and was an outstanding student. He often skipped lectures to study ahead of the curriculum, and topped the prize lists year upon year. After graduate studies overseas, Mac spent most of his career at the University of Melbourne and the adjacent Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, and returned to Ormond as a Fellow.


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