Yvonne Barr (11 March 1932 – 13 February 2016)[1] was a virologist who co-discovered the Epstein–Barr virus in 1964.[2]

Yvonne Barr
Born(1932-03-11)11 March 1932
Died13 February 2016(2016-02-13) (aged 83)
Alma materUniversity of London
Known forEpstein–Barr virus
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorMichael Anthony Epstein

Early life and educationEdit

She graduated with honours in zoology from Trinity College, Dublin.[3]


Barr, along with her research supervisor, Michael Anthony Epstein (an English pathologist and virologist), discovered the Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) during her PhD studies in 1964, whilst at Middlesex Hospital.[4][5] She joined the team at the Bland-Sutton Institute of Pathology in 1963. Barr graduated from the University of London in 1966 with a Ph.D.[4] She then moved to Melbourne, Australia to continue her career and begin a family.

Prior to determining specifics about EBV, Epstein, Barr, and Achong (one of Epstein's colleagues), published their preliminary research in The Lancet.[6] Barr was instrumental in the discovery of the Epstein-Barr virus, also called human herpesvirus 4, by preparing the samples used for experimentation.[7]

Personal lifeEdit

Upon moving to Melbourne, she met and married Stuart Balding and had two children. Barr died in Melbourne, Australia at the age of 83.[1]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b "Yvonne Balding Deat Notice". The Age. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-19.
  2. ^ "Barr, Yvonne M. (1932-) – People and organisations". Trove. Retrieved 2019-02-11.
  3. ^ James, D. Geraint (2009-05-01). "A chance meeting". QJM. 102 (5): 365–366. doi:10.1093/qjmed/hcn167. ISSN 1460-2725. PMID 19318370.
  4. ^ a b "Encyclopedia of Australian Science". Retrieved 27 December 2013.
  5. ^ McGrath, Paula (6 April 2014). "Cancer virus discovery helped by delayed flight". BBC News, Health. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Chapter 28: Epstein Barr Virus".
  7. ^ "Cancer virus discovery helped by delayed flight".