Ronald Ross bigraphy, stories - A British doctor

Ronald Ross : biography

13 May 1857 - 16 September 1932

Sir Ronald Ross KCB FRS (13 May 1857 – 16 September 1932) was a British doctor who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on malaria. His discovery of the malarial parasite in the gastrointestinal tract of the Anopheles mosquito led to the realization that malaria was transmitted by Anopheles, and laid the foundation for combating the disease.

Early life

Sir Ronald Ross was born in India, the eldest son of General Sir Campbell Claye Grant Ross of the British Indian Army and Matilda Charlotte Elderton. His grandfather, Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Ross, had malaria, and the boy resolved to find a cure for the disease. At the age of eight, he was sent to England for his education.

He commenced the study of medicine in London in 1875. He passed his final examination in 1880 and joined the Indian Medical Service in 1881. His second posting was in Madras. He commenced the study of malaria in 1892.

Honors and awards

Plaque at Liverpool University – on the Johnston Building, formerly the Johnston Laboratories, near Ashton Street, [[Liverpool]]

Ross received many honours in addition to the Nobel Prize, and was given honorary membership of learned societies of most countries of Europe, and elsewhere. He got an honorary M.D. degree in Stockholm in 1910 at the centenary celebration of the Caroline Institute and his 1923 autobiography Memoirs, Etc. was awarded that year's James Tait Black Memorial Prize. While his vivacity and single-minded search for truth caused friction with some people, he enjoyed a vast circle of friends in Europe, Asia and the United States who respected him for his personality as well as for his genius.

In India, Ross is remembered with great respect. Because of his relentless work on l, the deadly epidemic which used to claim thousands of lives every year could be successfully controlled. There are roads named after him in many Indian towns and cities. In Calcutta the road linking Presidency General Hospital with Kidderpore Road has been renamed after him as Sir Ronald Ross Sarani. Earlier this road was known as Hospital Road. In his memory, the regional infectious disease hospital at Hyderabad was named after him as Sir Ronald Ross Institute of Tropical and Communicable Diseases in recognition of his services in the field of tropical diseases. The building where he worked and actually discovered the malarial parasite, located in Secunderabad near the Begumpet Airport, is a heritage site and the road leading up to the building is named Sir Ronald Ross Road.

In Ludhiana, Christian Medical College has named its hostel as "Ross Hostel". The young doctors often refer to themselves as "Rossians".

The University of Surrey, UK, has named a road after him in its Manor Park Residences.

Ronald Ross primary school near Wimbledon Common is named after him. The school's coat of arms includes a mosquito in one quarter.

Sir Ronald Ross Institute of Parasitology was established in memory of Ronald Ross in Hyderabad, under Osmania University.

Most recently, the University of Liverpool has named a large Biological Science building in his honour. The Ronald Ross building is home to the University's Institute of Infection and Global Health.


Ross studied malaria between 1882 and 1899, working at the Presidency General Hospital, Calcutta. Ross built a bungalow with a laboratory at Mahanad village, where he used to stay from time to time, collecting mosquitoes in Mahanad and adjoining villages and conducting research. In 1883, Ross was posted as the Acting Garrison Surgeon at Bangalore during which time he noticed the possibility of controlling mosquitoes by controlling their access to water.

In 1897, Ross was posted to Ooty and fell ill with malaria. After this he was transferred to Secunderabad, where Osmania University and its medical school is located. He discovered the presence of the malarial parasite within a specific species of mosquito, of the genus Anopheles, which he initially called "dapple-wings". He was able to find the malaria parasite in a mosquito that he artificially fed on a malaria patient named Hussain Khan.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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