Past directors

Past directors

Professor Suzanne Cory and Sir Gustav Nossal talking

The institute has benefited from the leadership of six outstanding directors. Under each director the institute has grown in size and scope, and provided the environment necessary for outstanding scientific output. 

Professor Suzanne CoryProfessor Suzanne Cory: 1996-2009

Professor Cory is one of Australia’s most distinguished molecular biologists. As director of the institute she energetically promoted science policy and research at both the national and international level. 

Sir Gustav Nossal: 1965-1996

An eminent immunologist and warrior for global health, Sir Gustav Nossal increased the institute's scientific scope and size, nurturing new research programs and turning it into the institute we recognise today.

Sir Frank Macfarlane BurnetSir Frank Macfarlane Burnet: 1944-1965

One of the most notable Australian scientists of the 20th Century, Nobel laureate Sir Macfarlane Burnet drove significant research programs in virology and then immunology.

Dr Charles KellawayDr Charles Kellaway: 1924-1944

Dr Kellaway steered the institute through the Great Depression, obtaining the first direct funding for medical research from the Commonwealth Government.

Dr Sydney PattersonDr Sydney W Patterson: 1919-1923

Dr Patterson directed the institute during difficult post-war years, establishing a focus on infectious diseases in the Australian community such as influenza, pneumonia and tuberculosis.

Dr Gordon Clunes McKay PattersonDr Gordon Clunes McKay Mathison

Dr Mathison was the first director-designate of the institute, but died in World War I before taking up the position. We continue to honor his memory and contributions to medical research.