'Nobel laureate Marshall a joker' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Nobel laureate Marshall a joker'

He's been called a quack by colleagues and a joker by his wife, but Australian Barry Marshall can now can now call himself Nobel Laureate.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2005 19:27 IST

He's been called a quack by colleagues and a joker by his wife, but Australian Barry Marshall can now can now call himself Nobel Laureate.

Marshall, 54, who won the 2005 Nobel Prize for Medicine with colleague Robin Warren, is an unconventional man of medical science who found fame and fortune partly by drinking a glassful of bugs.

He swallowed a solution containing the bacteria Helicobacter pylori to prove to a sceptical medical world the theory that bacteria -- not stress and lifestyle -- cause most stomach ulcers.

Marshall, married with four children, became violently ill, but had thus made his point to the world -- a point acknowledged yesterday by the Nobel Prize committee.

His wife, Adrienne, was not impressed. "That's a very Barry thing to have done," she told the Sydney Morning Herald in a 1997 interview.

They had four young children, Marshall was working 14-hour days, seeing patients all day and doing research at night, and now he was "dreadfully ill".

"I told him he had to stop it and get some treatment," his wife recalled. He did.

"He's got a dreadful sense of humour," she said. "He's always being stupid, bad jokes, puns, that sort of thing.

"He really enjoys everything he does. He's a 150 percent person; whatever he's doing he throws himself into. He's probably a bit more of a boy than a man; a lot of the researchers are like that.