A Donegal man has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Professor William Campbell, who hails from Ramelton, has was jointly awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize, with the announcement made by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet yesterday morning
Professor Campbell and Professor Satoshi Omura were jointly awarded half the prize for their discoveries concerning a drug against infections caused by roundworm parasites. The drug, Avermectin, the derivatives of which, have radically lowered the incidence of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis. The drug has also shown efficacy against a growing range of other parasitic diseases.
Professor Campbell is a graduate of Trinity College in Dublin and the third to have been awarded a Nobel Prize. He graduated with first class honours in zoology from Trinity College Dublin in 1952. He went on to receive a PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1957, following which he worked with the Merck Institute for Therapeutic Research until 1990. He is currently a research fellow Emeritus at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey.
“Professor Campbell was centrally involved in developing the cure against river blindness,” said Patrick Prendergast, the Provost of Trinity College Dublin welcoming the announcement.
“In 1987 he spearheaded the decision by Merck to distribute that cure free to millions of people in what became one of the first and foremost examples of a public/private partnership in international health. Annually 25 million people are treated under this scheme preventing new cases of river blindness.”
Professor Campbell visited Trinity College Dublin recently where he was conferred with a Doctor in Science (Sc.D) in recognition for his scientific research and contribution to society. He was also involved in the development of several drugs used in human and veterinary medicine.