Vale Dr John Middleton

February 8th, 2024

We would like to share the sad news that Dr John Middleton recently passed away.

Photo of Dr John Middleton

John spent his entire working life at CSIRO, having joined the Division of Organic Chemistry at Fishermans Bend, Victoria in 1965.

Over succeeding years he worked in the Divisions of Applied Chemistry and Applied Organic Chemistry which eventually became the Division of Molecular Sciences.

John was recruited to CSIRO to work on the insect hormone project. This was a project to identify, isolate, characterise and synthesise insect hormones for possible use in controlling insect pests. He was a co-author of 26 papers from 1966 until the project ended in 1976.

John made a major contribution to CSIRO through his work on the new laboratories at Clayton. Over several years he worked with the architects to design buildings that have aged well.

After his work on the building was completed he joined the Division’s medicinal chemistry project working as a synthesis chemist to develop novel anti-viral compounds.

He retired in 1999. In 2016, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The disease progressed from 2020 when he went into care, and he died on 20 December 2023. John is survived by his second wife, three children and eight grandchildren.

Journal article featuring copy and photos of recent announcements in 1966

1966 CoResearch magazine feature announcing his appointment.


We invite alumni members and those who worked with him to add their own tributes, please contact if you would like to share your memories of John.