1 - Ian Jefferys Wood

Date Range5 February 1903 - 1 September 1986

1903 : Born 5 February at Albert Street, East Melbourne. (An only child, his early education was given by his mother, Blanche Isla (Outhwaite), at home. His father, A. Jeffreys Wood, was a medical graduate of the University of Melbourne and specialized in the treatment of sick children.)

1911-1921 : Melbourne Church of England Grammar School. (Junior and secondary education; fellow students included G.W. Leeper and R.R. Garran.)

1922-1927 : University of Melbourne Medical School. (M.B. B.S. with First Class Honours in medicine; as an undergraduate student he attended classes given by D. Rivett (chemistry), W.A. Osborne (physiology), R.J.A. Berry (anatomy) and P. MacCallum (pathology). Later, in the hospital wards, he was instructed by H. Turnbull, S.Sewell, A. Newton, L. Hurley, V. Hurley and I. Maxwell. Fellow students included G. Robertson and E.V. Keogh. He played cricket and hockey in the University teams and was awarded a University of Melbourne Blue.)

1927-1928 : Melbourne Hospital and Children's Hospital, Carlton: Resident medical officer.

1928 : Melbourne Hospital: Resident medical officer under Alan Newton (surgery) and Hume Turnbull (medicine).

1929-1932 : Children's Hospital, Carlton: Resident medical officer, then Medical Superintendent in 1930. (Worked with F.M. Burnet on bacteriophage studies for controlling Flexner organisms. A medical student in the hospital at that time was E.E. Ford.)

1932 : University of Melbourne (M.D.).

: RMS Orontes (Assistant ship's surgeon en route to England in March-April).

1932-1934 : London, England. (Attended a course at the London Hospital in preparation for the membership examination of the Royal College of Physicians. He worked as house physician at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London and worked with F. Fraser, professor of medicine at St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London. He became engaged to Edith Cooke.)

1934 : RMS Orford (Assistant ship's surgeon en route to Australia).

1934-1939 : Children's Hospital, Carlton: Clinical assistant and then physician to outpatients. (Developed techniques for the intravenous infusion of blood and glucose-saline solutions in anaemic and dehydrated children and babies.)

: Royal Melbourne Hospital: Associate assistant under H. Turnbull with facilities for clinical research.

: Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (Marion Carty Research Fellow under C. Kellaway studying patients with ulcers of the stomach or duodenum who suffered severe haemorrhage and required blood transfusions. Blood preservation techniques were refined resulting in the establishment of a blood bank at the Institute.)

: 59 Collins Street. (Private medical practice specializing in blood transfusions and continuous intravenous glucose-saline drip treatment for anaemic and dehydrated patients.)

1937 : Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Fellow).

1939-1963 : Royal Melbourne Hospital (Honorary Physician).

1939-1945 : Australian Imperial Force (AIF) serving as a medical officer.

: Commenced as a junior officer under Major General Rupert Downes, Director General of Medical Services, Victoria Barracks, Melbourne, assigned to the development of blood transfusion equipment.

1940 : Joined the 2/2nd Australian General Hospital and embarked on the SS Strathaird for the Middle East on 13 April and was away from Australia for two years. Worked with various Australians including C. Disher, E. Dunlop, E.V. Keogh, W.W.S. Johnston, H. McLorinan, E. Britten-Jones, L. Lindon, A. Sage and H. Todd.

: Seconded to the 12th British General Hospital in Jerusalem and then to the 10th British General Hospital at Helmier near Cairo working with N.H. Fairley.

: Returned to 2/2nd AGH at Gaza on 22 September which then moved to Kantara to receive the first Australian casualties from the Battle of Bardia and Tobruk.

1941 : Transferred in August to the 2/4th AGH at Tobruk.

: Contracted hepatitis in October and was evacuated to Alexandria.

1942 : Returned to Australia on the American troop ship Mount Vernon in March.

: Went with the 2/2nd AGH in November to Hughendon in central Queensland to set up an 800-bed tented hospital to receive patients from New Guinea and the Pacific Islands.

: Member of the British Empire (Military).

1943 : Moved the hospital in January to Rocky Creek on the Atherton Tableland where it increased in size to 1000 beds, treating malaria, dysentry and battle cases. The hospital was involved in a large research project under the guidance of N.H. Fairley and E.V. Keogh investigating the efficacy of three antimalarial drugs (quinine, atebrin and sulphadiazine) to reveal the best for adoption by the forces. The other major collaborator in the project but located in Cairns was R. Andrew.

1944 : Transferred early in the year to be the officer commanding the Medical Division at the 115th Heidelberg Military Hospital, Melbourne. He was involved in the first use of penicillin at the Hospital.

: Royal College of Physicians, London (Fellow).

: Posted at the end of the year as Colonel commanding the 2/7th AGH in Lae, New Guinea, taking command in January 1945.

1945 : Appointed to form a Clinical Research Unit at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research by F.M. Burnet while still in Lae.

: Returned to Melbourne, Australia, in August.

1945-1963 : Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research: Assistant Director and Head of the Clinical Research Unit in association with the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

1946 : Carnegie Travelling Fellow, January - April. (The primary objective was to visit the clinical research units of the Harvard Medical School which were regarded as the world leaders at this time. While en route to Boston he visited E.V. Keogh who was the Australian Army Medical Liaison Officer at the American Services Headquarters at the Pentagon, Washington. On leaving Boston he travelled to Montreal, Canada to visit J. Collip and H. Selye, to New York City to visit R. Loeb and to the Mayo Clinic, Rochestoer, Minnesota.)

1946-1956 : Work at the Clinical Research Unit began with establishment of an 18-bed ward and the introduction of liver biopsy using a Franseen needle to study abnormalities in the structure of the liver in chronic alcoholism. The studies expanded to include chronic hepatitis and led to the identification of an autoimmune component to the disease.

: A system for gastric biopsy was developed which allowed studies to be conducted on various diseases of the stomach. Later in the 1950s these techniques were expanded to include biopsies of the duodenum and the upper small bowel. This represented a significant step in the opening up of the field of gastroenterology for scientific investigation.

1951 : Oxford University, England (Litchfield Lecturer).

1957-1963 : When F.M. Burnet announced in 1957 that the field of investigation at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute was going to change from virology to immunology, the Clinical Research Unit also decided to direct its investigations into that field. However they continued studies into diseases of the pancreas and tetanus. The policy of the Unit 'was to investigate in the Institute and the Hospital cases of autoimmune disease to determine their nature, distribution and response to treatment. The cases were surveyed in terms of Burnet's theories, our own observations, and discoveries in the Institute and overseas.'

1958 : 'Diffuse lesions of the stomach' written with L. Taft (Published)

: Washington, U.S.A. (Attended the World Congress of Gastroenterology.)

1963 : England and U.S.A. (Gave lectures in London and San Francisco on autoimmune diseases.)

: Retired from the WEHI Clinical Research Unit.

1963-1978 : Royal Melbourne Hospital (Consulting physician).

: Private consulting practice, East Melbourne. (Shared rooms with G. Brown and visited the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, the Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital, the Alfred Hospital and Prince Henry's Hospital.)

1971 : Syme Memorial Lecture ('The Surgery Explosion: from Syme to Eternity').

1974 : Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal; awarded for outstanding contributions to medicine.)

1975 : Stawell Oration and Medal ('The Great and Glorious Masterpiece of Man').

1976 : Created Knight Bachelor.

1978-1979 : Heatherton Hospital, Alcohol and Drug Dependence Branch of the Victorian Health Department (Part-time consultant).

1980-1986 : Spent much time working on his autobiography.

1983 : Distinguished Service Award (Medal) of Gastroenterological Society of Australia.

1984 : 'Discovery & Healing in Peace and War, An autobiography - Ian J. Wood' (Published).

1986 : Died 1 September 1986, Melbourne, Australia.

Published by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre on AustehcWeb, April 2004
With support from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and Amalgamated Melbourne and Essendon Hospitals (The Royal Melbourne Hospital)
Listed by Gavan McCarthy and Oscar Manhal, Index by Miranda Hughes
HTML edition Ailie Smith
Updated 15 November 2007

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