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Irish scientist receives Nobel Prize for Medicine in glittering ceremony

Professor Campbell is only the second Irish person to ever be awarded the prize for science.

AN IRISH SCIENTIST was presented with the Nobel Prize for Medicine at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden today.

Professor William C Campbell was awarded the prize in October along with Japanese scientist Satoshi Ōmura and Chinese researcher Tu Youyou for their discoveries of treatments against parasites.

Professor Campbell is the second Irish person to be awarded with the prize for science and follows in the footsteps of Earnest Walton, who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1951 for his work on splitting the atom.

Professors Campbell and Ōmura will split half of the eight million Swedish Krona (about €860,000) prize money between them, while the other half will go to Professor Tu Youyou.

Nobel Medicine William C. Campbell Source: Associated Press

Grand ceremony

Dressed to the nines in tails and long gowns, the 2015 Nobel laureates in literature, economics, physics and chemistry also received their prizes at a glittering ceremony in the Swedish capital.

The 10 laureates received their Nobel diplomas and gold medals from the hands of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf, in a ceremony interspersed with classical music and presentations by the prize-awarding institutions.

The ceremony took place in front of 1,600 specially-invited guests at Stockholm’s Concert Hall, decked out for the occasion with 20,000 white, yellow and orange flowers donated, as every year, by the Italian city of San Remo, where Swedish scientist and prize founder Alfred Nobel died on December 10, 1896.

Novel therapy

Professor Campbell was awarded the prize for his discovery with Professor Ōmura of Avermectin, a drug which helps in the treatment of River Blindness and other parasitic diseases. 

Speaking in October, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of the Science Foundation of Ireland and chief scientific advisor to the Government, said that the prize was to be celebrated.

“When our children are sitting in the lecture rooms of the future they will be reminded of great scientists like Dr William C Campbell who through his work has made a positive impact on society,” he said.

Professor Campbell was born in Ramelton, Co Donegal in 1930. He graduated from Trinity College in 1952 and worked for most of his life with Merck Institute for Therapeutic Research.

He is currently a Research Fellow Emeritus at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey in the US.

Banquet

The laureates are attending a gala banquet at Stockholm’s City Hall tonight, attended by some 1,300 people.

With reporting by AFP.

Read: Irish-born scientist given a Nobel Prize for his work fighting a horrible parasite

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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