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Nobel Prize Winner William Campbell returns to his Alma Mater  

October 2016

Nobel Prize winner and Trinity graduate, Professor William Campbell, has paid an historic visit to his alma mater, Trinity College Dublin.  He was welcomed at a special reception hosted by the Provost, Dr Patrick Prendergast, who announced a new lectureship in parasite biology in honour of the great scientist at the event.

It is a year since Professor Campbell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his development of the drug Ivermectin that has almost eradicated river blindness. His discovery has had a massive impact on world health, saving millions of people from diseases caused by parasites.

Professor Campbell’s interest in parasitology first started in Trinity where he studied zoology and where he was inspired by his professor and well known parasitologist, Desmond Smyth.

Welcoming   the great Nobel Laureate, Provost, Dr Prendergast said: “I am delighted to welcome Professor Campbell back to Trinity and acknowledge his achievement among friends and colleagues. His life has been an exemplary journey of science: From his time as a Trinity undergraduate getting interested in parasitic worms in the early 1950s; to his discovery with scientist, Satoshi Omura of Ivermectin in the 1970s; to persuading Merck in 1987 to distribute the drug free in some of the poorest areas of the world. Professor Campbell has demonstrated the sense of possibility of science which has been nothing short of inspirational and altruistic.”

The new lectureship in parasitology will be appropriately based in the Zoology Department where his interest and love for the area first began.  It is hoped that the lectureship position will be destined for another outstanding parasitologist.

Professor in Zoology, Celia Holland said: “We in Zoology are delighted and proud that the tradition of parasitology, in both teaching and research, will continue with the creation of the ‘William C. Campbell lectureship in Parasite Biology’."