Born in Germiston, Duncan Mitchell now is Emeritus Professor of Physiology at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and Honorary Professorial Research Fellow in its Brain Function Research Group, from the directorship of which he retired in 2006. Before joining the University in 1975, he was on the scientific staff of the National Institute for Medical Research, London, England, and of the Research Organization of the Chamber of Mines of South Africa. His research started in the field of applied human physiology of deep-level mining, and he has added research in neurophysiology, fever physiology, and ecophysiology to a lifelong career in thermal physiology. His interest in neurophysiology has led to a parallel research programme in pain pathophysiology and pharmacology. With his colleagues and students at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of Western Australia and Lethbridge University, Canada, he currently is pursuing research in conservation physiology related to climate change, in the pathophysiology of pain resulting from HIV and its treatment, and in sickness behaviour. He regards the award to him of the Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship for 2010 as the pinnacle of his research career.