Sir Gustav Nossal

Sir Gustav Nossal

The Nossal Institute for Global Health is named after internationally renowned immunologist Sir Gustav Nossal, one of Australia’s most dynamic scientific leaders. The Institute was established in 2006 to advocate for the public health of vulnerable communities, something Sir Gustav has long been passionate about.

Known for his global health advocacy, Sir Gustav was knighted in 1977 for ground-breaking immunology work. It was a long way from his early childhood in pre-World War II Europe. Sir Gustav was born in Austria and moved to Australia as a child in 1939. He graduated from Sydney University's Medical School with first class honours and gained his PhD at 29.

During a long and distinguished career, Sir Gustav researched how the immune system generates antibodies to protect us from infectious diseases and served as Walter and Eliza Hall Institute Director from 1965 until 1996. He is also an Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne and President of the Australian Academy of Science.

Sir Gustav’s research and advocacy resulted in many awards. He made the annual Australia Day Honours list four times and received a Centenary Medal for “distinguished service to the study of antibody formation and immunological tolerance" in 2000, when he was also named Australian of the Year.

Sir Gustav was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1989, won the Albert Einstein World Award of Science in 1990 and in 1996 was awarded the highly prized Koch Gold Medal for major advances in biomedical science.

Community has always been important to Sir Gustav, who has worked with numerous organisations that allowed him to reach people, including the Centenary of Federation Victoria Committee, the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and The Global Foundation.