Campbell, William Cecil

Campbell, William Cecil, 1930–, Irish-American biologist and parasitologist, b. Derry, Northern Ireland, Ph.D. Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison, 1957. He became a U.S. citizen in 1962. From 1957 to 1990, Campbell worked at the Merck Institute for Therapeutic Research in New Jersey. In 1990 he became a research fellow (emeritus from 2010) at Drew Univ. Campbell and Satoshi Omura shared half of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning the treatment of infections caused by roundworm parasites. The drug they discovered, avermectin, along with its derivative, ivermectin, has significantly reduced the occurrence of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis (see elephantiasis), which are caused by these parasitic worms. These diseases are a serious public health issue in tropical regions. Omura and Campbell collaborated but worked independently on different aspects of the discovery of the drug, which is derived from a bacterium. Tu Youyou was awarded the other half of the prize.

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