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Ronald Ross, Physician

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1902

Physician. Mosquitoes’ malarial parasites life-cycle. Mathematical models for epidemiology. Malaria prevention. Contributed to pure, applied mathematics.

‘My microscope was worn out, screws rusted with sweat from hands, forehead; remaining eye-piece cracked; invaluable oil-immersion lens remained good.’
‘Dingy military hospital, cracked microscope, medicine bottles - only laboratory and apparatus I possessed.’

Humor, Quotations, and Poem

'Well do I remember that dark hot little office in the hospital at Begumpett, India, with the necessary gleam of light coming in from under the eaves of the veranda. I did not allow the punkha [fan] to be used because it blew about my dissected mosquitoes, which were partly examined without a cover-glass; and the result was that swarms of flies and of 'eye-flies' - minute little insects which try to get into one's ears and eyelids - tormented me at their pleasure.'

The work ... was ... so blinding that I could scarcely see afterwards, and the difficulty was increased by the fact that my microscope was almost worn out, the screws being rusted with sweat from my hands and forehead, and my only remaining eye-piece being cracked... Fortunately invaluable oil-immersion object-glass remained good.

The student of biology is often struck with the feeling that historians, when dealing with the rise and fall of nations, do not generally view the phenomena from a sufficiently high biological standpoint. To me, at least, they seem to attach too much importance to individual rulers and soldiers, and to particular wars, policies, religions, and customs; while at the same time they make little attempt to extract the fundamental causes of national success or failure.

I have failed in finding parasites in mosquitoes fed on malaria patients, but perhaps I am not using the proper kind of mosquito.

Science is the Differential Calculus of the mind; Art is the Integral Calculus. They may be beautiful when apart, but are greatest only when combined.

Poem he wrote following the discovery that the malaria parasite was carried by the anopheles mosquito:
This day relenting God
Hath placed within my hand
A wondrous thing; and God
Be praised.
At His command,
Seeking His secret deeds
With tears and toiling breath,
I find thy cunning seeds,
O million-murdering Death.
I know this little thing
A myriad men will save.
O Death, where is thy sting?
Thy victory, O Grave?

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Ross
Painting Tim Tompkins - PaintHistory.com

Name: Ronald Ross
Birth: 13 May 1857, Almora, India
Death: 16 September 1932, Putney Heath, United Kingdom
Institution: University College, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Award: "for his work on malaria, by which he has shown how it enters the organism and thereby has laid the foundation for successful research on this disease and methods of combating it."
Portion of Cash: 1/1
Education: Medical Degree, St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London
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