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Albert, Adrien (1907 - 1989)

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Medical chemist and Pharmacist
Born: 19 November 1907  Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.  Died: 29 December 1989.
Adrien Albert was Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University from 1949 to 1972. Prior to this, Albert was Acting Head of Pharmacy (1938) and lecturer in Organic Chemistry (1939 -1947) at the University of Sydney. During World War II the supply of pharmaceuticals from abroad dwindled so Adrien Albert, in conjunction with the Australian Army Medical Directorship, set up the production of these essential drugs in Australia. He was awarded a Commonwealth Research Scholarship to help fund this work. Almost immediately after the war ended, Albert moved to England to take up the position of Director of Research at the Wellcome Foundation in London. Two years later, Sir Howard Florey lured Adrien Albert back to Australia to work at the newly created John Curtin School of Medical Research.

Career Highlights
Soon after completing secondary school, Adrian Albert took up a four year post as apprentice pharmacist with the company Hallam. He quickly realized that his interests lay in pharmaceutical research, not retail pharmacy, and that he would need more formal qualifications. Once his apprenticeship had ended, Albert enrolled in science at the University of Sydney, then worked for two years in a dye firm to fund further studies in England. Even though he experienced several bouts of ill health during his stay in England, Albert completed a PhD on the physical properties of drug actions of antibacterial agents. This work was the forerunner for contemporary drug design.

Albert returned to Australia in 1938, was appointed Acting Head of Pharmacy, then lecturer in Organic Chemistry at the University of Sydney. Over the next 35 years Albert further enhanced his reputation as a first rate chemist and pharmacologist. He locally produced essential drugs for Australia during World War II, worked for the prestigious Wellome Trust Foundation in London and was appointed the inaugural Head of the Medicinal Chemistry Division at the John Curtain School of Medical Research. For the first 9 years the Division was housed at the Wellcome Trust in London, then in July 1956 after the John Curtin School of Medical Research building was finally completed, the Division moved to Canberra. Adrien Albert retired from this post in 1972 but continued to work for the Australian National University (the Research School of Chemistry and the Department of Chemistry) until shortly before his death in 1989.

1928Registered as a pharmacist after a four year apprenticeship with Hallam
1932President of the University of Sydney Pharmacy Student's Association
1932University Medal received from the University of Sydney
c. 1932Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc (Hons)) completed at the University of Sydney
1932 - 1934Dyer (?) at Hendersons of Rosebery
1934Left for England
1937Doctor of Philosophy (PhD Med) completed at the University of London
1938Acting Head of the Pharmacy Department at the University of Sydney
1939 - 1947Lecturer in Organic Chemistry at the University of Sydney
1947Doctor of Science (DSc) received from the University of London
1947 - 1948Research Fellow of the Wellcome Foundation in London
1949 - 1972Professor of Medical Chemistry at John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University, Canberra
1958 - Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA)
1964Liversidge Lecture at the Royal Society of New South Wales
1989Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)

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Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: McCarthy, G.J & Annette Alafaci
Created: 20 October 1993
Modified: 29 January 2007

Published by The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre on ASAPWeb, 1994 - 2007
Originally published 1994-1999 by Australian Science Archives Project, 1999-2006 by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
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Updated: 26 February 2007

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