Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Collection of the month: Ross notebook

To mark World Malaria Day 2010 and the LSHTM Malaria Centre event held at the School on 23rd April, we have chosen an item which documents one of greatest discoveries in tropical medicine and advanced our knowledge of malaria.

This notebook, which belonged to Ronald Ross, was kept during the years 1895-1897 whilst he was working in India. The page we have displayed here shows the working notes made by Ross on 20th August 1897 in his office in Secunderabad. During the dissection of the stomach tissue of an anopheline mosquito fed four days previously on a malarious patient, Ross found the malaria parasite, from which he proved the role of Anopheles mosquitoes in the transmission of malaria parasites in humans.

Ross took ten days' leave to write a paper, 'On some peculiar pigmented cells found in two mosquitoes fed on malarial blood', and was cautious enough to have his work verified by a colleague, Surgeon-Major John Smyth. He sent this off immediately to the British Medical Journal, which took three months to publish it.

In recognition of his work, Ronald Ross was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1902. The notebook is part of the Ross collection and is available to researchers. Please contact the Archives for further enquiries at

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