Professor Ian Frazer was born in 1953 in Glasgow, Scotland, into an academic family. He studied medicine at Edinburgh University and trained as a renal physician and clinical immunologist. He received a BSc(Med) in 1974 and an MB ChB in 1977. In 1974, as part of his studies, Frazer spent three months at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. In 1981 Frazer returned to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute where he continued his clinical training and undertook studies in viral immunology and autoimmunity and became particularly interested in human papilloma viruses (HPV). In 1985 he took up a teaching position with the University of Queensland. When he moved to Brisbane he decided to continue his work with HPV, in particular HPV and cervical cancer. He was awarded a MD from the University of Melbourne in 1988. The work of Frazer with his colleague, the late molecular virologist Dr Jian Zhou, has led to the development of a vaccine which prevents infection with HPV and cervical cancer.
Prof Frazer is currently CEO and Director of Research at the Translational Research Institute (TRI).