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Ronald Ross
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Doctor
    (May 13, 1857-September 16, 1932)
    Born in Almora, India
    Served in the Indian Medical Service (1881-99)
    Won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for determining the life cycle of malaria parasites and the role of mosquitoes as a vector (1902)
    Named a Knight Commander of the Order of Bath (1911)
    When he had trouble finding people willing to be bitten by malaria-laden mosquitoes, he studied the disease in birds instead, but complained 'I did not need to be in India to study bird malaria.'
    When the Nobel Prize Committee initially considered splitting the Medicine Prize between Ross and Italian zoologist Giovanni Grassi, Ross launched a campaign of defamation against Grassi, calling him 'a mountebank, a cheap crook, a parasite who survived on the ideas of others.'
    It was Grassi, not Ross, who had identified the species of mosquito responsible for transmitting malaria to humans as Anopheles claviger.
    He constantly complained about being underpaid by the institutions he worked for.
    He wrote what one biographer called 'tolerable poetry and bad novels.'
    His proof that malaria was spread by mosquitoes laid the foundation for fighting the disease.
    He oversaw anti-malaria campaigns in India, West Africa, the Suez Canal zone, Greece and Cyprus.
    He was a talented mathematician and developed a mathematical model for malaria epidemiology.
    His oldest son died in World War I.

Credit: C. Fishel


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