Stephen Nicholas Emery Egon Fazekas de St Groth

By March 9th, 2011


Stephen Nicholas Emery Egon Fazekas de St Groth obtained his MB ChB degrees in 1942, his MD in 1943 and his ScM in 1946 from the State Institute of Hygiene, Budapest, Hungary.

He was a Research Fellow at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research from 1947 to 1951 moving to the Department of Microbiology, John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University in 1952. He was a Senior Fellow in 1953-58, Reader 1959-60 and Personal Professor 1960 – 65.

He joined the CSIRO Division of Animal Genetics as a Chief Research Scientist, in 1965.

During the 1950s and 1960s, he published extensively on the genetics of influenza virus and the immunochemical analysis of influenza virus variants grown in the presence of anti-influenza virus antibodies. From an analysis of the antibody reaction patterns he developed a complex theory that suggested new influenza virus epidemics and pandemics arose by the same process, the accumulation of successive mutations at the region of the coat protein (haemagglutinin) that is bound by neutralising antibodies.

Towards the latter stages of his career, in the 1970s, he divided his research time between CSIRO at North Ryde (NSW) and Basel, Switzerland.