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Jim Wiley

(New South Wales & University 1958) (9 June 1936 - 28 December 2022)

The purinergic signalling and the broader scientific and medical communities lost a pioneer of purinergic research within Australia and abroad. Jim was both an outstanding scientist and clinician, still active in these roles until his passing, symbolising his great commitment to and energy and enthusiasm for high-quality science from the bench to bedside. In his final days, he was reading research articles, and discussing with his former student, mentee and long-term collaborator, Dr. Ben J. Gu, their project relating to P2X receptors and early-stage apoptotic platelets. Jim was deeply admired, respected, and liked by his students, staff, peers, and patients, being commonly described as a “gentleman”. Jim is remembered by his wife Karin, children Malcolm and Kirsten, and six grandchildren.

James Saville Wiley was born in Sydney on the 9th of June 1936. His father was a doctor and had served in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps during World War 1. From 1956 to 1964, Jim served in the Australian Army Reserve rising to the rank of Lieutenant. In 1958, Jim was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship for both his academic and athletic prowess (as a schoolboy he had won state championships in the 880 yard and mile events and in 1956 he trialled for the Melbourne Olympics). Jim undertook a BSc at the University of Oxford (1959–1962). Following his return to Australia, he obtained an MBBS (1965) and an MD (1973) from the University of Sydney. He continued his medical training as a junior resident medical officer (1966–1967) and fellow in haematology (1967–1968) at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney. Jim held several medical and research positions throughout his long and prosperous career including positions at the Hammersmith Hospital, London (1971), and University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (1971–1975), the place at which he would later develop a life-long passion for purinergic signalling. Jim was devoted to the care of patients with haematological disorders and was a fellow of both the Royal Australian College of Physicians and Royal College of Pathologists Australia.

Read the full obituary here.