D. F. Bacon

Elected to Honorary membership: 
1993
Affliation: 
Massey University

Donald Frederick Bacon was born in Gisborne in 1926. He was educated at Gisborne High School, then began training as a medical laboratory technician at Cook Hospital in 1944. This was interrupted when he registered for a science degree at Otago University in 1947. He graduated BSc (1950), joined the staff of the Microbiology Department as an Assistant Lecturer in 1951, and then worked closely with Dr Molly Marples in presenting the existing Stage 2 course and in the introduction of a new Stage 3 microbiology course. Across the summers of 1951-1955, Don was a member of the Medical Research Council sponsored health research teams to Samoa and Niue. He graduated MSc from the University of Otago in 1953. In 1955 he was awarded a Fulbright Travel Grant and began studies at Yale University for a PhD which was awarded in 1958.

The subject of his research there was mutation and the mechanism of mutations in E. coli. He resumed his duties at Otago, but again returned to the USA in 1969 to the Waksman Institute at the Rutgers University. In 1966 he was appointed founding Professor of Microbiology and Head of Department of Microbiology and Genetics at Massey University where his research interests in the genetics of E. coli and associated bacteriophages continued. He retired in 1989. He was elected an Honorary Member of NZMS in 1993. Don served as a member of the Committee on Novel Genetic Techniques from 1982 until shortly before he retired.