2001 Amersham Pharmacia Biotech Medallist: Professor David Hume

HumeDavid Hume did his BSc(Hons) degree in Biochemistry and his PhD, completed in 1979, at the Australian National University under the supervision of Dr Maurie Weidemann. A year of this work was carried out at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg, Germany. He started scientific life as a metabolic biochemist, working on aspects of the regulation of glycolysis in stimulated T lymphocytes, which led to publication of a monograph on Mitogenic Lymphocyte Activation in 1980. Following his PhD he went to Oxford University, first to the Biochemistry Department where he worked on renal physiology with Garth Robinson, then to the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology where, working with Siamon Gordon, he acquired an enthusiasm for macrophages that has stayed with him ever since. In 1983 he returned to the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra, and subsequently took off again to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to work with Josh Fidler.

In 1988, he was awarded the Boehringer Medal by ABS and took up an appointment at the nascent Centre for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, which has grown and evolved since then to become the new Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland. On his return to Australia, David took a new direction in his research, with the aim of understanding the differentiation of macrophages and related cells in molecular terms. During his time at the University of Queensland, he has maintained a significant involvement in teaching immunology, molecular genetics and cell biology to undergraduates and has supervised more than 20 PhD students. He has been a member of the successive ARC Special Research Centres and is currently the Deputy Director/Manager of the SRC for Functional and Applied Genomics. He is also Deputy Director of the new CRC for Chronic Inflammatory Diseases. David's research has continued to evolve, and his current interests focus especially on the use of cDNA microarrays in analysis of macrophage signalling pathways and on fundamental mechanisms of transcription control.