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Jacques Miller AC

b. 1931

Jacques Miller AC (b. 1931), immunologist, spent his early childhood in Shanghai and Lausanne before coming to Sydney with his parents at the age of ten. Having graduated in medicine and bacteriology from the University of Sydney, he worked at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital before being awarded a Gaggin Fellowship to undertake medical research in London, where in 1960 he completed his PhD on the induction of cancer in mice by way of viruses. In 1963 he spent a year at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, because there he could perform experiments in a germ-free environment. In 1966, at the invitation of Gus Nossal, he moved to Melbourne to become head of the experimental pathology unit at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Here, he discovered the interaction of B and T lymphocytes in antibody production; and the overall role of the thymus – the last human organ to have its function explained. Miller served on the International Research Agency for Cancer, and was president of the Scientific Council; he had terms on the World Health Organization and the International Union of Immunological Societies. Regularly tipped for the Nobel Prize, most recently in 2011, he counts among his many honours the Copley Medal of the Royal Society (2001) and the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science (2003).

Updated 2018