John R. Warren

Discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease

Photo by Frances Andrijich

Born: 11 June 1937

Country: Australia

Nationality: Australian

Field: Pathologist

Institutions: Royal Perth Hospital

Known for: discovery of Helicobacter pylori

Notable awards: Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2005 "For their discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease" with Barry J. Marshall

John Robin Warren AC (born 11 June 1937 in Adelaide) is an Australian pathologist,Nobel Laureate and researcher who is credited with the 1979 re-discovery of thebacterium Helicobacter pylori, together with Barry Marshall. The duo proved to the medical community that the cause of bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the cause of most peptic ulcers.

Warren received his M.B.B.S. degree from the University of Adelaide, having completed his high school education at St Peter's College, Adelaide.

Warren trained at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and became Registrar in Clinical Pathology at the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science (IMVS), where he worked in laboratory haematology which generated his interest in pathology.

In 1963, Warren was appointed Honorary Clinical Assistant in Pathology and Honorary Registrar in Haematology at Royal Adelaide Hospital. Subsequently he lectured in pathology at Adelaide University, then took up the position of Clinical Pathology Registrar at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. In 1967, Warren was elected to the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and became a senior pathologist at the Royal Perth Hospital where he spent the majority of his career.

At the University of Western Australia, with his colleague Barry J. Marshall, Warren proved that the bacterium is the infectious cause of stomach ulcers. Warren helped develop a convenient diagnostic test (14 C-urea breath-test) for detecting H. pylori in ulcer patients. In 2005, Warren and Marshall were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

In 2005, Warren and Marshall were awarded the-Nobel Prize in Medicine.

An Australian documentary was made in 2006 about Warren and Marshall's road to the Nobel Prize, called "The Winner's Guide to the Nobel Prize". He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2007.

Personal life

Warren married Winifred Theresa Warren (nee Williams) in the early 1960s and together they had five children. Winifred Warren went on to become an accomplished psychiatrist. Following her death in 1997, Warren retired from medicine.