Nobel Laureate Barry J. Marshall AC
Clinical Professor, University of Western Australia
In 2005 Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in recognition of their 1982 discovery that a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, which affects 50% of the global population, causes one of the most common diseases of mankind, peptic ulcer disease.
Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, met during internal medicine fellowship training at Royal Perth Hospital in 1981. The pair studied the presence of spiral bacteria in association with gastritis. The following year (1982), Helicobacter pylori was cultured for the first time and they developed their hypothesis related to the bacterial cause of peptic ulcer and gastric cancer.
In 1984, at Fremantle Hospital, Marshall proved that the germ was harmful in a well-publicised self-administered experiment, in which he drank a culture of H.pylori. Persevering despite widespread skepticism, Marshall also came up with combinations of drugs that killed the bacteria and eliminated ulcers permanently. In 1984 the World Health Organisation recognized H.pylori as the main cause of stomach cancer. Marshall and Warren’s work is acknowledged as the most significant discovery in the history of gastroenterology and is compared to the development of the polio vaccine and the eradication of smallpox.
In 1998 Marshall was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 2008 he was elected as a Foreign Member of the prestigious US National Academy of Science, an institution that was established in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln.
Dr Marshall founded Ondek Pty Ltd in 2005, to develop and commercialise a novel drug and vaccine delivery platform, based on the use of genetically modified Helicobacter pylori.
Barry Marshall was born in Kalgoorlie in 1951. He completed his undergraduate medical degree at The University of Western Australia in 1974. He is married with four children and lives in Shenton Park, Western Australia.
Awarded in conjunction with Dr J. Robin Warren
- Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine 2005
- Western Australian Citizen of the Year 2006
- Western Australian of the Year 2007
- Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC) in 2007.
- The Paul Ehrlich Prize 1997
- Warren Alpert Prize 1995
Dr Marshall has received numerous Honours and serves on multiple councils, committees and advisory boards to improve medical research and scientific discovery.