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Sir Bernard Katz
, 1993 (printed 2003)

by Nick Sinclair

bromide print on photographic paper (sheet: 49.5 cm x 40.8 cm, image: 37.3 cm x 29.1 cm)

Bernard Katz (1911- 2003), winner of the Nobel prize for medicine with Ulf von Euler and Julius Axelrod, was naturalised as an Australian citizen in 1941. This ended a difficult time of statelessness for the neuroscientist. Of Russian Jewish origin, he was born in Leipzig, Germany, and continued his studies in London. In 1939, just after receiving his PhD, Katz came to work as a research fellow at John Eccles's Sydney Hospital laboratory. Three years later, Katz began serving with the Royal Australian Air Force. However, his skills were deemed more useful to the war effort in the laboratories of the Royal Society, and the Australian Embassy in London facilitated his repatriation to England. In 1945 Katz married Marguerite Penly of Sydney; they had two children. Although Florey and Eccles hoped he would come to work at the new John Curtin School of Medical Research, he remained in England for the rest of his life.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2004
Accession number: 2004.6