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Professor Paul Korner
, 2011

by Andrew Sullivan

oil on canvas (frame: 128.2 cm x 77.0 cm, support: 122.5 cm x 71.5 cm)

Paul Korner AO (1925-2012), cardiovascular physiologist, fled his native Czechoslovakia with his family at the age of thirteen. Having spent a year in England, they came to Australia, where Paul was soon dux of Barker College, Hornsby. In 1943, he enrolled at the University of Sydney, where he completed a BSc, a MSc and a medical degree within eight years. Having spent his residency at Royal Price Alfred Hospital, in 1952 he proceeded to the Kanematsu Research Institute at Sydney Hospital. Interested, at this time, by the link between hypoxia and pulmonary capillary permeability, he went on to the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, and then to Harvard. Upon return to Australia in 1956 he took up a senior lecturer position at the University of Sydney; four years later, he was offered the foundation chair in physiology at the University of New South Wales. In 1968 he became the foundation Scandrett professor of cardiology at the University of Sydney; from 1975 to 1990 he was director of the Baker Medical Research Institute in Melbourne. During his career Korner tackled a number of scientific questions in the fields of exercise physiology and circulatory control, but his definitive book is Essential Hypertension and Its Causes: Neural and Non-Neural Mechanisms.

Sulman Prize-winning artist Andrew Sullivan pictured Korner at home with his beloved dog, Star.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Ann Korner, Nicholas Korner, Anthony Korner and Harriet Bingham 2015
Accession number: 2015.136