Achievements

Significant scientists

As the oldest medical research institute in Australia, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute has been home to many scientific discoveries since 1915. Significant scientists include:

In 2005, to celebrate the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute's 90th birthday, five institute personalities were interviewed about their association with the institute. Through WEHI Revisited you can hear Sir Gustav Nossal, Professor Don Metcalf, Professor Jacques Miller, Professor Ian Mackay and Dr Margaret Holmes share their childhoods, recall the spur to pursue science and reflect upon their careers at the institute.

Early Discoveries

The most significant discoveries made in the early years include:

  • Venoms and anti-venenes
  • Discovery of SRS-A, the slow reactive substance of anaphylaxis

Immunity

The most significant discoveries made in immunity include:

  • Immunological recognition of self from non-self (immunological tolerance)
  • Clonal selection theory of antibody production
  • T-B cell collaboration
  • Identification of the earliest T cell and dendritic cell precursor in the thymus

Autoimmunity

The most significant discoveries made in autoimmunity include:

  • Concept and treatment of autoimmune disease
  • Improving immunotherapy

Cancer

The most significant discoveries made in cancer include:

  • Identification and clinical development of colony stimulating factors (CSFs)
  • Bcl-2 gene promotes cancer formation by blocking apoptosis
  • Identification of breast stem cells
  • Platelet lifespan is dictated by the Bcl-2 family

Infectious diseases

The most significant discoveries made in infectious diseases include:

  • Malaria
  • Influenza
  • Leishmaniasis