Frank Macfarlane Burnet

Australian virologist

Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet (September 3, 1899 – August 31, 1985) was an Australian virologist best known for his contributions to immunology. He was co-winner of the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sir Peter Medawar.

Burnet, 1945


  • I can see no hope at present of such a vaccine being produced... I have adopted a frankly defeatist attitude towards the problem of poliomyelitis and I hope that future developments will prove me wrong... No means of controlling poliomyelitis is at present visible.
    • Burnet, F.M. (1949) "Some aspects of the epidemiology of poliomyelitis". in: Proc. Royal Australasian College of Physicians. 4: 95-100.
    • Quote from 1949 on the development of a poliomyelitis vaccine, which was developed later that year.
  • I can see no practical application of molecular biology to human affairs... DNA is a tangled mass of linear molecules in which the informational content is quite inaccessible.
    • Burnet, F.M. (1970) Immunological Surveillance. Pergamon Press. pp. 240-241.

About BurnetEdit

  • One of the minor regrets, not really a big regret, is that I’ve never published a paper with Mac Burnet. I’ve published 500 papers, not a single one has Burnet as a co-author. He did not believe in putting his name on a paper if he hadn’t done at least one third of the work himself. A sort of an honest unselfish approach, when it comes time to reap the glory you do it without having someone grabbing it instead of you.

External linksEdit

Wikipedia has an article about: