He began his medical studies at St. Bartholomew Hospital in London in 1875. At the end of his studies he enlisted in the Medical Service of India in 1881. In 1899 he returned to England and worked first in Liverpool and later in London.
From 1890 he devoted his time to the investigation of malaria, specifically to the cause and to the way the disease spread. Experts Charles Laveran and Patrick Manson suggested that it was transmitted by mosquitoes. Ross was able to confirm this hypothesis: he discovered that the carriers of the malaria parasites were the females of the Anopheles mosquitoes and showed the life cycle of these parasites. In 1895, Ross dissected about one hundred infected mosquitoes before detecting, two years later, the same larval stages that Laveran had observed in human blood, and that Ross located in the Anopheles mosquito.
In 1899 he worked under the direction of Alfred Jones at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and was immediately sent to Africa to continue his research. The effects of its discovery were immediate, since the morbidity and epidemiology of the disease could be controlled. Subsequently, many other places in the world, such as India, Cyprus or Mauritius, could be established. For this discovery he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1902.
On his return to England, he lectured as a tropical medicine professor at the University of Liverpool and gave numerous lectures. In 1926 he became head of the Ross Institute and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases in London. He was also president of the Society of Tropical Medicine. In addition to the Nobel Prize, he received many other honors. His works include Malaria Prevention (1910) and Studies on Malaria (1928).
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