Dr. Bill Campbell has recently been named as a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Satoshi Omura of Japan for their discovery of Avermectin. This drug has already helped eliminate incidents of river blindness and filariasis. Avermectin is a derivative of Ivermectin, a drug Campbell had developed in the 1980’s to fight heart-worm in dogs. Campbell’s work on Ivermectin took place while he was working for the pharmaceutical company Merck. His contribution to the field of Parasitology earned him the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society of Parasitologists in 2008.
Drew University is honored to have Dr. Campbell be an active part of the Drew mission since 1990. Dr. Campbell is currently a scientist and research fellow emeritus in Drew’s RISE program, which provides undergraduate students with an opportunity to research alongside scientists who have retired from the corporate world. In addition to working with College of Liberal Arts students, Bill has a long history of working with Caspersen School of Graduate Studies students in Arts and Letters and Medical Humanities.
Dr. Campbell first taught in the Graduate School in 1990, when he ran a course titled “The Cultural History of Medicine” in the Arts and Letters program. The following year he was elected to the graduate faculty. In 1995, the Caspersen School launched its Medical Humanities program and Bill’s courses quickly became a mainstay of the program. His contributions were instrumental in the early development of the Medical Humanities program. To honor Dr. Campbell, Merck and other friends endowed a fund called the Campbell Colloquium in Science and Society in the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies. Colloquium topics have included “The Scientific Evidence for God”, “Playing God: Disciplinary Perspectives on Synthetic Biology,” and a symposium is currently in development on the cost of healthcare.
In addition to teaching in Arts & Letters and Medical Humanities, Dr. Campbell also worked with students on independent studies, theses and dissertations. One of Bill’s last doctoral students, Sherrilyn Sethi, worked with him on her dissertation on “Mortuus Mox: The Pedagogical Approach to Cadaveric Dissection in the United States and the Anatomy of the Corpse Poem.” Dr. Sethi is now at Harvard where she shares her knowledge and passion for Medical Humanities with medical residents.
Bill’s dedication to guiding students in their research and Drew University has been remarkable. The Caspersen Graduate School community offers him heartfelt congratulations on winning the Nobel Prize.