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From opposite sides of the trenches: the two pioneers of the Kolling Institute of Medical Research, 1920–1974

Catherine E Storey
Med J Aust || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50798
Published online: 12 October 2020

The institute that has investigated the “common diseases of mankind” for 100 years was established by an unlikely partnership

During the First World War, two young men served with distinction on opposite sides of the battlefields in France. One, William Wilson Ingram (1888–1982) was wounded in action, “mentioned in despatches”, and awarded the Military Cross by the British government. The other, Max Rudolf Lemberg (1896–1975), was awarded the Iron Cross after being wounded in the Somme offensive of March 1918. Despite being on opposing sides of this appalling conflict, they later formed a partnership in Sydney, together laying the foundations for the Kolling Institute of Medical Research at the Royal North Shore Hospital. The Kolling, which traces its origin to the Institute of Pathological Research in 1920, is the oldest medical research organisation in NSW. In this, its centenary year, it is an opportune time to explore the contributions of its two remarkable pioneers.

  • Catherine E Storey

  • The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW


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