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Fellows Directory

Gustav Nossal

Gustav Nossal

Professor Sir Gustav Nossal AC CBE FRS


Elected: 1982


Gustav Nossal is an immunologist who investigates antibody formation and was the first researcher to establish the function of monoclonal antibodies. His laboratory was also instrumental in demonstrating the existence of T cells and B cells — the workhorses of the adaptive immune system. Through this research, he helped to lay the foundations of modern immunology.

In his early work, Gus discovered that each B cell secretes a specific antibody in response to a single foreign antigen. He went on to research immunological tolerance — why the body does not form antibodies against itself — and was amongst the first to promote the concept of autoimmune diseases.

Gus has won many awards and has served as special advisor to the World Health Organization on vaccine development, aiming to help combat infectious diseases in the developing world. For three years, he was Deputy Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, where he worked to improve the health of Aboriginal people and promote reconciliation in Australia.

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology
    • Cellular and humoral immunology
  • Other
    • Science policy, Public understanding of science
  • Health and human sciences
    • Medical microbiology


Immunology, B cells, Immunological tolerance, International health, Vaccines


  • Florey Lecture

    On 'The regulatory biology of antibody formation'.

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