10 Famous Australian Scientists And Their Discoveries

You might have taken a dive across entire Great Barrier Reef in Australia, but there’s still one thing that’s even more fascinating to discover. Wondering? Well, try diving in the ocean of a scientist’s brain. You’ll find ideas so interesting and dedication so arresting that you’ll become a fan of their life stories.

So, here’s a list of scientists, greatest scientists of Australia along with their discoveries. Dive in.

1. Howard Florey | Developments on Penicillin

Howard Florey

When you think of Penicillin, the first name that comes to your brain might be of Sir Alexander Fleming. But you’d be surprised to know that majority of clinical trials on the medicine were carried out by Florey. The Nobel Prize winning scientist with his team started working on penicillin mould after reading a research paper of Fleming. If you still don’t believe, watch the movie Breaking the Mould by Peter Hoar. It showcases the story of Florey’s discovery.

2. Ian Frazer | HPV Vaccine for Cervical Cancer

Ian Frazer

Coming from a family of medical scientists, Frazer had always been interested in medicine. However, it was only when he was called to research on immunology at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research that he got near this wonderful discovery. He came across a sexually transmitted virus other than HIV. This later came to be known as HPV and became a major breakthrough in creating vaccines for women against cervical cancer. The 64-year old Frazer is currently researching on vaccines against genital herpes.

3. Elizabeth Blackburn | Telomerase enzyme

Elizabeth Blackburn

Blackburn faced many aha! moments during the discovery of telomerase. Telomerase is basically a ribonucleoprotein or enzyme that adds a repetitive sequence of telomeres that protects chromosomes from DNA damage. Among many awards and honours, she has also won the Nobel Prize in Physiology. At present, the Australian scientist lives in San Francisco with her husband and a son.

4. William Lawrence Bragg | Bragg’s Law of X-Ray Diffraction

William Lawrence Bragg

Passion can take you anywhere you want to. Bragg is the testimony of the fact. Despite of having a broken arm since his early school, the Australian scientist was the winner of Nobel Prize in Physics at 25. In 1912, he discovered that the position of atoms in a crystal could be calculated by diffracting a beam of X-ray through crystal lattice. To test his discovery on different crystals, his father, a Mathematics Professor, developed a spectrometer for him. Bragg also played a major role in the 1935 discovery of DNA.

5. Mark Cowley Lidwill | Pacemaker

Mark Cowley Lidwill

If we call him a scientist or a doctor, it won’t do justice to him. After all, what he discovered has not just advanced our generation but has saved countless human lives which of course, is not a small thing. After his study from Melbourne University, Mark discovered that electricity could be used to stimulate the muscles in human body. Following this, he resuscitated a newborn baby using this invention which later came to be known as a pacemaker.

6. Graeme Clark | Bionic Ear

Graeme Clark

How often do you get to invent something while on your beach vacation? He did. While relaxing on a beach, he got the idea to construct a cochlear implant that resembles a seashell and grass blades. Born in Australia and trained in London, Clark was the first Australian scientist to discover a Bionic ear. The principle behind it is converting the complicated speech signals into electrical signals that are accessible directly to the auditory brainstem. And thus, even if a person is deaf, the sound can reach one’s inner ear with this device.

7. Fiona Wood | Spray-on Skin

Fiona Wood

Since 1992, it would take 21 days to produce enough cells to cover the burns on an entire human body. Later this year, while treating a woman with 90% petrol burns over her body, Dr. Wood discovered that the number of days could be brought down near to 5 days with Spray-on Skin. Initially, this service was employed by surgeons in Sydney, Auckland and Birmingham. Eventually a research fund named McComb Foundation was created to deliver cells over the plane.

8. John Eccles | Chemical Transmissions in Synapse

John Eccles

Starting from a single sensory neuron, the eminent neuroscientist went on to cut through the understanding about a human brain. In addition to being a winner of Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology, Eccles was a big time philosopher enquiring about the deep realm of mind. In lieu of this, he is also the author of many books including The Understanding of the Brain and How the Self Controls Its Brain.

9. Peter C. Doherty | Major Histocompatibility Complex

Peter C. Doherty

Though actually a veterinary surgeon and researcher, Hollows is no less than a scientist when he discovered MHC. MHC protein complex was found to be highly responsible for body fighting meningitis. As his research suggests, Peter’s earlier work too was mostly based on the human immune system. The Australian scientist has also authored many books like The Light History of Hot Air and The Sentinel Balloons. Currently he spends three months in Memphis and remaining nine months in Victoria.

10. Henry Harris | Cancer Suppressor Cells

Henry Harris

Cancer undoubtedly is the biggest disease spreading today, not just in one nation but in every country round the globe. Still, the condition would have been a far more worse if not for Mr. Henry Harris. Born in Russia, Harris started his career in literary field and later moved into medicine research. Though he started late in medicine as compared to most of the scientists, his interest in cancer cells and genetic coding led him to this relieving discovery.

Greatest scientists, greatest ideas!