John (Jack) Handyside Barnes (1922-1985) small

John (Jack) Handyside Barnes (1922-1985) was an Australian medical practitioner and toxinologist.

1964 the first specimens of the small stinger Carukia barnesi

1967 – Ronald V. Southcott declared Carukia barnesi the cause of the “Irukandji syndrome” – (named after the Irukandji tribe of the Aboriginal people)

  • Born on April 2, 1922 Charleville, Australia
  • 1940-1946 Medical Degree, University of Queensland
  • 1941-1943 Served in the Australian Imperial Force, East Timor
  • 1947-1953 Medical superintendent of Thursday Island Hospital
  • 1953 – Private Practice, Cairns, Queensland
  • 1961 – Collected the unique specimen of ‘Carukia barnesi’
  • 1970 – MBE, Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • Died on August 11, 1985 Cairns, Australia

Medical Eponyms
Carukia barnesi and the Irukandji Syndrome

In 1961, Jack Barnes, his nine year-old son, and a local surf lifesaver were rushed to Cairns Base Hospital after developing Irukandji syndrome. Thus the riddle of what caused Irukandji Syndrome was solved; years of detective work had reached its climax in a dramatic and decisive episode of self-experimentation.

Major Publications
  • Barnes JH. Cause and Effect in Irukandji Stingings. Med J Aust. 1964 Jun 13;1:897-904. [Irukandji Syndrome]
  • Barnes JH. Siphonophores, Part 1 of a Series. The North Queensland Naturalist 1962;30:131
  • Barnes JH. Siphonophores, Part 2 of a series. The North Queensland Naturalist 1964;32:135.
  • Barnes JH. The Crown of Thorns Starfish as a Destroyer of Coral. Aust. Natural History. 1966
  • Barnes JH. Endean R. A dangerous starfish. Acanthaster planci (Linne). Med J Aust. 1964;1: 592



Eponymous terms


the person behind the name

Dr Conor O'Reilly, MB BCh BAO BComm, University College Dublin / Dublin City University, Ireland. In Australia working in Emergency Medicine with an interest in Sports medicine

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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