'Outstanding' Murdoch researcher recognised

September 6, 2013

One of the world's leading parasitologists, Professor Andrew Thompson, has been presented with a prestigious award at the recent World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology Conference in Perth.

Professor Andrew Thompson

The Mike Fischer Memorial Award honours 'outstanding individual contributions to global science, and scientific achievements that have had an impact on the lives of people and animals.'

Representatives from the Windward Islands Research and Education Foundation (WINDREF), a non-profit organisation affiliated with Grenada's St George's University, travelled to Perth to present the award to Professor Thompson in person.

"I was humbled to learn that the WINDREF Boards of Directors on both sides of the Atlantic had unanimously selected me for this honour," Professor Thompson said.

"It is a great honour to know that my life's research has contributed to the wellbeing of people and animals across the globe, and that my fellow researchers see its value."

Previous recipients of the award include former UK Chief Scientist and Royal Society President Lord Robert May, Nigerian tropical diseases researcher Professor Ade Lucas and smallpox researcher Dr Donald Hopkins, of the United States.

Professor Thompson has led research to develop drugs for a number of parasite-related illnesses, including sleeping sickness and Chagas disease.

He also helped develop a drug to treat Giardia, a parasite often contracted through contact with contaminated food, soil or water. It is a common cause of travellers' diarrhoea, also known as 'Bali belly'.

"I have been very fortunate to collaborate with some outstanding global organisations over the years, including the world’s top pharmaceutical companies and the World Health Organisation," Professor Thompson said.

The Mike Fischer Memorial Award has been presented annually since 2006, a year after career researcher Mike Fischer died at his estate in Grenada.

Mike Fischer is credited with discovering Ivermectin, an antiparasitic medicine which revolutionised treatment of potentially debilitating diseases in both humans and livestock.

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