Catching the worm
Towards ending river blindness, and reflections on my life
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In 2015, Dr William C. Campbell’s quiet retirement changed abruptly when, at the age of 85, he won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. In Catching The Worm – A Memoir, Campbell recalls his early life in Donegal and studying zoology in Trinity College Dublin, then moving to the United States to work as a parasitologist. While working with the company Merck, he helped to discover several drugs to control parasitic worms. One of those drugs, ivermectin, has spared millions of people from the devastating effects of river blindness. Through his memoir, Campbell provides a snapshot of growing up in Ireland before and during World War II, as well as insights into science, the arts, teaching, family and what really matters in life.