Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > Of Interest > SFI Science Medal awarded to Prof Bill Campbell (3171)

SFI Science Medal awarded to Prof Bill Campbell (3171)

The Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) St Patrick's Day Science Medal was recently awarded to Prof Bill Campbell (3171), a recipient of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine.

26 Mar 2021
Written by Walter Murphy
Of Interest

An Taoiseach Micheál Martin presented the medals during a celebratory virtual event to mark the occasion of St Patrick’s Day and US-Ireland relations.

Now in its eighth year, the SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal is awarded annually to US-based scientists, engineers or technology leaders with strong Irish connections, as chosen by an independent selection committee, to recognise their significant contributions to academia and industry and their roles in supporting and engaging with the research ecosystem in Ireland.

Recipient of the SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal for Academia, Prof Bill Campbell was born in Derry and raised in Ramellton, Co.Donegal. He was educated at Campbell College Belfast and Trinity College Dublin, after which a Fulbright Travel Grant brought him to the University of Wisconsin, Madison, US, where he undertook a PhD on liver fluke. Prof Campbell is a Research Fellow Emeritus with Drew University, Madison, New Jersey in the US.

“I am profoundly grateful and honoured to accept the 2021 SFI St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal – an honour that is exceptional both in its rarity and in its conception,” said Prof Campbell. “It recognises scientific work that is carried out far beyond the recipient’s homeland, and at the same time it celebrates the indissoluble ties that bind the distant worker to his or her native shore. I learned about parasitic diseases, first in Belfast, then in Dublin, and then in my adopted home in America.

“Through it all, my roots in Ireland were never forgotten. I have had the good fortune to work both in industry and in academia, and to be associated with colleagues who made my work far more valuable than anything I could have done alone. It is my hope that US-Ireland partnerships continue to prosper for the benefit of science, both now and in the future.”  

River blindness is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite that ultimately leads to blindness, which is prevalent in Africa and in parts of Central and South America. Prof Campbell’s work in the development of ivermectin, a medication used to treat parasite infestations, helped lower the incidence of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis and led to his joint Nobel Prize, shared with Japanese scientist, Prof Satoshi Ōmura.

Prof Campbell’s work provided the basis for 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. Ivermectin is currently being investigated as a treatment for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Similar stories

Chairman's Letter - May 2021

The Latest Update From The OC Society Chairman More...

Old Campbellian Magazine 2021

The Old Campbellian Magazine Needs Information From You... More...

Imperial War Museum Photo: No 24 British General Hospital suffered extensive damage during the Blitz
The Belfast Blitz - Campbell College

Reflections Of Eighty Years Ago - The Belfast Blitz More...

The House System - Yates's

Yate's House - established in 1908 as one of the first four Boarding Houses. Colours: "Red. More...

The House System - Price's

Price's House - established in 1908 as one of the first four Boarding Houses. Colours: Royal/ Dark Blue. More...

Most read

The House System

The House System has long been an integral facet of the Public School régime. More...

Obituary - Brian Rebbeck

It is with regret that the Society announces the death of Brian Rebbeck (1953-59) More...

Interview with Chris Farrell
Interview with Chris Farrell

Housemaster Mr Fry catches up with Old Campbellian and Irish International rugby star, Chris Farrell, about life in lock-down, his time as a boarder … More...

Have your say

This website is powered by