4, 2005 -- The University of Virginia is celebrating the
announcement that Barry Marshall, M.D., professor of
in the School
of Medicine, was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in physiology
or medicine. Marshall is the first current member of the
University of Virginia School
of Medicine faculty to be honored
with a Nobel Prize.
“We congratulate Dr. Marshall for winning the Nobel Prize
in medicine,” said Arthur Garson, Jr., M.D., Vice President
and Dean of the School of Medicine. “His work highlights
the spirit of innovative and critical thinking that the UVa
School of Medicine fosters.”
Marshall and pathologist Robin Warren, M.D., discovered the
connection between Helicobacter pylori bacterium and peptic
ulcers and gastric cancers in Australia in the early 1980s.
Marshall then spent a decade (1986-1996) at the University
of Virginia as a research fellow, gastroenterologist and
professor of medicine.
“It is a great thrill to be recognized in this way and it
is fitting that a lot of the credit for the dissemination
of the new discovery goes to faculty at UVa,” Marshall
said. “In Charlottesville I was able to develop important
diagnostic tests which were needed in order to implement
the new discoveries.”
Since he returned to Australia, Marshall has remained on
the UVa School of Medicine’s faculty as a professor
of research and internal medicine.
“While he was at U.Va., (Dr.) Marshall worked to strengthen
the evidence that H. Pylori is the cause of peptic ulcers
and gastric cancer, and other health conditions,” said
Dr. Robert Carey, David A. Harrison III Distinguished Professor
of Medicine and University Professor at UVa. Dr. Carey was
dean at the UVa School of Medicine during Marshall’s
tenure. “He had only a theory when he came here, but
when he left, his findings were well accepted.”
Carey said Marshall told him in a recent conversation that
he would accept the Nobel Prize on behalf of the University
of Virginia and the University of Western Australia.
Marshall’s research was revolutionary, in that it changed
the understanding of ulcers and gastrointestinal diseases,
according to Dr. David Peura, UVa Professor of Medicine and
President of the American Gastroenterological Association.
“His work was unprecedented, especially since he was a clinician
and not a researcher,” Peura said. “I was treating
my patients with the then traditional methods for ulcers
when his work was first published and I truly did not believe
it until I saw what it did for my patients.”
Peura joined the UVa School of Medicine faculty in 1990,
because of his desire to work with Marshall.
“His perseverance was astounding. Most people would have abandoned
their work in the face of the opposition and dismissal that
he originally received,” Peura said.
The Nobel Prize for medicine is awarded by the Karolinska
institute in Stockholm as stated in the will of Alfred Nobel,
a Swedish industrialist who founded the prestigious awards