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Vale Professor Donald Metcalf AC

Monday 15 December, 2014

Cancer Council Victoria is saddened to hear of the passing of one of Victoria’s leading cancer researchers, Professor Donald Metcalf AC.

Professor Metcalf became Cancer Council Victoria’s Carden Fellow in 1954 at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, where he devoted his energies to overcoming major problems in the biology and treatment of cancer. He is most recognised for discovering, isolating and producing agents called Colony Stimulating Factors (CSFs).

His painstaking and dedicated research over six decades contributed significantly to how we understand and treat cancer.

He was at the forefront of his field, investigating stem cells, receptors for CSFs, issues of cell survival and suppressors of cell signalling; and being involved in the discovery of another mysterious multiple-action growth factor, the leukaemia inhibitory factor.

While he officially “retired” in 1996, Professor Metcalf continued to devote his life to cancer research until he finished his Carden Fellowship in December this year due to ill health.   

Professor Metcalf received more than 20 of the highest honours in contemporary science around the world for his work. His loss will be felt by the cancer research community both in Australia and overseas.

Cancer Council Victoria offers its sincere condolences to Professor Metcalf’s family.

Read more about Professor Metcalf’s remarkable life