WA Nobel laureate honoured at university

WA Nobel laureate honoured at university

Nobel Prize-winning gastroenterologist Barry Marshall says he is honoured to have a science library at University of Western Australia named after him.

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Professor Marshall, who in 1982 identified a bacteria linked to chronic gastritis and stomach ulcers with colleague Robin Warren, said he hoped the library would inspire a new generation of West Australian scientists.

“It is good to be able to give something back to the university because I can imagine as a student, to be in the science library, to be refreshed about the fact that Nobel Prizes do come from Western Australia,” he said.

Prof Marshall said the recognition meant more to him as the library was in his own city.

“It’s a little more difficult to be recognised in your own town. It keeps you humble to be in Perth but now and again it is a great pleasure to have an honour and your name on something and the science library is a great thing,” he said.

The Nobel laureate famously drank a petri dish containing the Helicobacter Pylori bacteria in order to prove the link between the organisms and stomach ulcers, becoming very ill as a result.

Prof Marshall’s research also led to a murder conviction being overturned in 2013.

Chris von Deutschburg received a life sentence in 1983 after an 86-year-old man died of a bleeding stomach ulcer a week after he burgled his home.

Mr von Deutschburg was found guilty on the basis the victim died of a bleeding duodenal ulcer, said to be caused by the stress of the home invasion.

Prof Marshall and Dr Warren proved that bacteria, rather than stress, caused stomach ulcers.