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Professor Geoffrey Burnstock
, 1971

by Andrew Sibley

brush and ink, gouache and watercolour on paper (sheet (irregular): 57.6 cm x 49.0 cm)

Professor Geoffrey Burnstock (b. 1929) was Professor of Zoology at the University of Melbourne from 1964 to 1975. Born in England, he obtained a PhD at the University of London before coming to the University of Melbourne to do a doctorate in science. He worked at the medical institute at Mill Hill, and at Oxford, before returning to the zoology department in Melbourne in 1959. Professor Burnstock is best known for his work on signalling and neurotransmission in the autonomic nervous system; his discovery of a 'third nervous system'; and his efforts to use this system to fix damaged parts of the body. In the 1970s he was the subject of a film called The Smooth Muscle Man. Since 1975 he has been at University College, London, where he is currently the Director of the Autonomic Neuroscience Institute.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2002
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2002.39.1