When Barry Marshall walked into Dr Robin Warren’s laboratory in 1981, Warren was near his wit’s end. He’d spent the past two years investigating the occurrence of tiny curved bacteria in biopsy samples from the stomachs of patients with gastritis. The only problem was that no one believed him.
Marshall, seeking a research project to complete his internship as a physician, had no such doubts. From his point of view, previously unknown bacteria, living in an environment previously supposed to be sterile, represented not an impossibility, but an opportunity: an opportunity to be part of a revolutionary scientific discovery.
He was right. In 2005, Marshall and Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the link between Helicobacter pylori and peptic ulcers.
"My results were disputed and disbelieved, not on the basis of science but because they simply could not be true"