Barry Marshall, MD: H pylori 35 Years Later

Step into the right pub in Perth, Australia, on a Monday early in October—Nobel Prize announcement day—and you’ll find 2 laureates catching up over fish and chips and couple of beers. It’s an annual tradition that Barry J. Marshall, MD, and J. Robin Warren, MD, started even before they won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2005 for their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its causative role in gastritis and peptic ulcers.

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Frances Andrijich

This year marks a milestone anniversary for Marshall, who has devoted his career to researching the microbe and treating resistant infections. Thirty-five years ago, over Easter weekend in April of 1982, he culturedH pylori from patients with gastritis and ulcers for the first time, after Warren, a pathologist, observed the previously unknown spiral-shaped bug in stomach lining biopsies. Prior to their discovery, it was dogma that the stomach was a sterile environment and that stress caused ulcers.

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