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Fellows Directory

Donald Metcalf

Professor Donald Metcalf AC FRS


Elected: 1983


Donald Metcalf studies the control of proliferation and differentiation in normal and leukaemic blood cells. His pioneering work demonstrated the regulatory control of the thymus on other lymphoid populations and the autonomous intrathymic control systems regulating lymphocyte formation. His development of a series of semi-solid cloning systems for various normal and leukaemic blood-forming precursors initiated a large new field of cell biology. He demonstrated the existence of a family of glycoprotein regulators (CSFs) each controlling the proliferation and differentiation of a specific haematopoietic family of cells. He purified two of these and characterised their action biochemically. He demonstrated that all myeloid leukaemias in humans are CSF dependent and that in murine models, myeloid leukaemia can be suppressed by using normal haematopoietic regulators to force terminal differentiation.

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


  • Florey Lecture

    On 'The colony stimulating factors: discovery to clinical use'.

  • Royal Medal

    In recognition of his discovery of colony stimulating factors which regulate the growth and differentiation of normal hematopoietic and leukemic cells.

  • Royal Society GlaxoSmithKline Prize and Lecture

    In recognition of their discovery of factors which regulate growth and differentiation in normal and leukaemic blood-forming tissue.