Elected: 1973
Discipline: Economics and Social Sciences
Dr Morrell Henry Draper OBE MB FRSE
Morrell Draper was born in Adelaide, Australia, on the 10th July 1921. He was educated at St Peter’s College in Adelaide. Here he discovered science and one of the loves of his life, running. He ran for South Australia and I believe became the South Australia Champion at 440 yards. In 1944, he graduated M.B., B.S. from the University of Adelaide, where he married Mary who survives him and where his eldest daughter, Genevieve, was born. He spent his residency as house surgeon at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He was called up in 1945 and gazetted as Captain R.A.A.M.C., serving until 1946 when he was transferred to the reserve of officers. From 1946 to 1949, Morrell was a Research Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

In 1949, he won an Australian National University Scholarship to study for a PhD in neurophysiology at Cambridge. There he joined the laboratory of Drs. Alan Hodgkin, Andrew Huxley, Richard Keynes, and Peter Lewis who were developing new techniques in their pioneering studies of the physiology of single axons. While in Cambridge, Morrell worked with Silvio Weidmann in exploiting the use of microelectrodes to open a new chapter in heart electrophysiology by intracellular recording of ionic fluxes. At Cambridge he continued with his running and was awarded a Blue in athletics. In the 1951 Oxford/Cambridge Match all the events were equal – this meant that everything hinged on the relay. Morrell was the last Cambridge man to take the baton. There was an extremely good Oxford man as his opposite number but Morrell overtook him and thereby won the Trophy that year for Cambridge. In 1955, he graduated PhD.

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