An expert on venomous creatures and one of the great larrikins of Australian medicine
In a country famous for its deadly snakes and spiders, Struan Sutherland became a household name for his expertise on venomous creatures. He was also well known as one of the great larrikins of Australian medicine and as a prolific author.
While working at the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL), Sutherland led efforts to develop an antivenom to the Sydney funnel-web spider and revolutionised treatment of snake bites by developing the pressure-immobilisation first aid technique and venom detection kits.
After an acrimonious departure from CSL, Sutherland founded the Australian Venom Research Unit at the University of Melbourne's department of pharmacology in 1994, where he worked until retiring in 1999.
But Sutherland, who spent his final years battling a rare, degenerative brain disease—striatonigral degeneration—was writing …