|Born||26 February 1929|
|Died||15 December 2014
|Institutions||Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research|
|Known for||discovering the colony stimulating factors|
Donald Metcalf AC FRS FAA (26 February 1929 – 15 December 2014) was an Australian medical researcher who spent most of his career at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. In 1954 he received the Carden Fellowship from the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria; while he officially retired in 1996, he continued working and held his fellowship until his retirement in December 2014.
Education, research and career
Metcalf studied medicine at the University of Sydney, and had his first experience of medical research in the laboratory of Professor Patrick de Burgh. In 1954 Metcalf was awarded up a Carden Fellowship from the Anti-Cancer Council of Victoria at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. There he initially studied virology and leukemia, later transitioning to hematology.
Metcalf's pioneering research revealed the control of blood cell formation and the role of hematopoietic cytokines. In the 1960s he developed techniques to culture blood cells, which led to the discovery of colony-stimulating factors (CSFs), including macrophage colony-stimulating factor, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor. CSFs are cytokines that control white blood cell formation and are responsible for resistance to infection. CSFs are now widely used to boost the immune system for patients receiving chemotherapy, and to mobilise blood stem cells for transplants.
Awards and honours
Metcalf has been awarded many international prizes including
- the 1986 Royal Society Wellcome Prize (now the GlaxoSmithKline Prize),
- the 1987 Bristol-Myers Award for Distinguished Achievement in Cancer Research (jointly with Leo Sachs),
- the 1998 Robert Koch Prize,
- the 1988 Armand Hammer Prize for Cancer Research,
- the 1989 General Motors Cancer Foundation Sloan Prize,
- the 1993 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award,
- the 1993 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University,
- the 1994 Jessie Stevenson Kovalenko Medal from the United States National Academy of Sciences,
- the 1994 Gairdner Foundation International Award,
- the 1995 Royal Society Royal Medal and,
- in 2007, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association for Cancer Research.
His autobiography Summon up the Blood: In dogged pursuit of the blood cell regulators was published in 2000.
- Hilton, Doug (2015). "Donald Metcalf (1929-2014) Discoverer of hormones that regulate blood-cell proliferation". Nature. 517 (7536): 554. doi:10.1038/517554a. PMID 25631437.
- Nicola, Nicos A. (2016). "Donald Metcalf AC. 26 February 1929 — 15 December 2014". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. London: Royal Society. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2016.0013.
- Anon (1983). "Professor Donald Metcalf AC FRS". royalsociety.org. London: Royal Society. Archived from the original on 2015-11-17. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the royalsociety.org website where:
"All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 2015-09-25. Retrieved 2016-03-09.
- "Prof. Donald Metcalf Carden Fellow". The Cancer Council Victoria. 2014. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
- AlphaMed Press, Dayton, Ohio, USA, 2000. ISBN 1-880854-28-7
- "Professor Don Metcalf lab page". wehi.edu.au. Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.
- "Professor Don Metcalf". Australian Academy of Science. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011.
- It's an Honour: AO
- It's an Honour: AC
- It's an Honour: Centenary Medal
- Douglas Hilton, Warren Alexander and Nicos Nicola. "A tribute to Professor Donald Metcalf ", Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, 15 December 2014.
- Biography of Donald Metcalf, on the website of Alphamed Press.
- Interview with Professor Donald Metcalf conducted by Dr Max Blythe on 31 March 1998, in Video Histories of Australian Scientists, Australian Academy of Science, 2002
- Snapshots from history, the Cancer Council Victoria
- Emeritus Professor Donald Metcalf : 2001 Prime Minister's Prize for Science
- Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, cumc.columbia.edu
- A prof's own adventure, The Age, 25 November 2004