Nobel Prize winner speaks of the impact of others
October 2022 – Retired Drew University RISE fellow and Nobel Prize winner Dr. William Campbell was recently honored in his hometown of Ramelton, Ireland, with a life-sized statue.
Campbell was recognized for his 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine, earned alongside Satoshi Omura for their discovery of ivermectin, a drug that treats parasitic diseases and is most famously used to treat river blindness in Africa.
He joined the festivities held in Ramelton, located in County Donegal, virtually. His two daughters Jenifer and Betsy were in attendance to officially unveil the monument.
He offered his thoughts on seeing himself in bronze.
“When I first heard about this statue, I was shocked because I thought that statues were for people who are dead,” quipped Campbell to the crowd, “and so I would not quite qualify.”
“It is a gift of extraordinary generosity and goodwill on the part of many, including many, many people who did not know me when I was a kid running around in Ramelton. It is a gift that is marvelous, it is awesome – and it fills me with admiration for my hometown, and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. That is what I felt when I heard about the statue.”
Campbell closed with words of wisdom one would expect from a Nobel Laureate.
“Any small achievements of mine that may have led to the creation of this statue are achievements that I was able to make with others. We must never forget that our achievements are possible not just because of what we do, but because of who we are – and that depends on how we relate to others; and it depends on how we are molded at the beginning. I am, and always will be proud to be a boy from Ramelton.”
Campbell joined Drew’s unique RISE program, which pairs undergraduate science students with retired industry professionals in the research lab, in 1990 after a career at Merck & Co. Despite his retirement, he still speaks with science classes each spring. He published a memoir in 2020.