Frank Fenner "was born in Ballarat in 1914 and graduated M.B., B.S. in the University of Adelaide in 1938. He was awarded the degree of MD in 1942, for papers on the physical anthropology of Australian Aborigines. He served in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps from 1940 to 1946 and in 1945 was awarded an MBE for his work on malaria control in New Guinea. After the war he worked with Macfarlane Burnet at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for two and a half years and then with Dr René Dubos at the Rockefeller Institute for a year. In July 1949 he was appointed Professor of Microbiology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University and from 1967 to 1973 he directed the John Curtin School.
"With a lifetime interest in environment from 1973 to 1979 he was Director of the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies in the Australian National University. After retirement at the end of 1979 he was appointed a visiting fellow at the John Curtin School, a position that he still occupies. In 1976 he was made a CMG for contributions to medical research and in 1989 he was awarded the AC for his contributions to preventive medicine.
"His principal research work has been concerned with poxviruses: mousepox, myxomatosis, vaccinia genetics and smallpox and his writings with poxviruses, animal virology, smallpox eradication, environmental problems and the history of science. He has published some 290 scientific papers or book chapters and has been editor of four books and author or coauthor of 14 books.
"Since 1965 he has been a member of the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Virus Diseases, and from 1969 onwards he was associated with the WHO Intensified Smallpox Eradication Program, being Chairman of the Global Commission for the Certification of Smallpox Eradication from 1977 to 1979 and Chairman of the Committee on Orthopoxvirus Infections from 1980 to 1985 and at its meetings as an ad hoc Committee in 1986, 1990 and 1994. In 1988 he shared the Japan Prize (Preventive Medicine) with Dr D.A. Henderson (USA) and Dr I. Arita (Japan) for work on smallpox eradication.
"He is a Life Member of the Australian Conservation Foundation and was Vice-President, 1971-73. He was a member of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment from 1971 to 1976 and Editor-in- Chief, SCOPE publications, 1976-1980. From 1978 to 1982 he was a member of the Senior Scientific Advisory Board for the UN Environment Program Project "The State of the Environment: Ten Years after Stockholm."
"He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and between 1967 and 1982 was a member of five and chairman of two of its of its committees concerned with environmental problems. He gave the Flinders Lecture of the Academy in 1967 and the Burnet lecture in 1985. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1958, gave its Leeuwenhoek Lecture in 1961 and Florey Lecture in 1983 and was awarded the Copley medal in 1995. He was elected a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences in 1977, has honorary doctorates from Monash, Liège, Oxford, Brookes and the Australian National Universities and was awarded the Albert Einstein World Award for Science 2000." 
- Patron, Sustainable Population Australia
- Chair, Population and Environment in Australia Conference (2004)
- Advisory Board, The Natural Edge Project