Nobel Laureate Barry Marshall visits Australind Senior High School

Australind Senior High School students were treated to a visit from a Nobel Laureate on Wednesday June 16.

University of WA Profressor Dr Barry Marshall went along to the school, along with eight interns who are part of the Barry Marshall MicroBlitz Internship program.

Australind Senior High School specialist program coordinator Brett Gaskell said it was an amazing opportunity for students to learn from one of the few Australian Nobel Prize winners.

"We are hoping that our students would be inspired and excited by his very personable presentation of his significant research achievement," he said.

Dr Marshall was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2005 for his discovery of H. pylori bacteria causing peptic ulcers in the stomach.

While Dr Marshall was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2005, it was for his work in 1981 which is why he was recognised.

"Everyone thought stomach ulcers were caused by stress until Dr Robin Warren and I started doing the work we do," he said.

Dr Marshall said he originally went into medicine thinking he would be a GP.

But he found there was so many things that they didn't know how to diagnose which led him into the research side of the industry.

"Medicine isn't just being a GP, it is an information business, then can become IT and new technologies like artificial intelligence," he said.

"There is always a pathway into medicine."

Mr Gaskell said Australind students were given the opportunity to work Microblitz interns to learn about practical methods for pathogen identification and disease tracking in the laboratories.

"It is hoped that the combination of Professor Marshall presenting world class science along with hands-on experience of research methods connected to real world problems will motivate our students to try science as a possible career," he said.

Students learnt how to plate up bacteria, use a micropipette and identify resistant bacteria.

The Barry Marshall Microblitz Program allows micro biology students to be involved in an intensive few works of working in the laboratory with cultured bacteria.

"They get moderately dangerous bacteria to play with - they don't play with covid or anything," Dr Marshall said.

He said visiting schools and talking to students comes naturally to him and he enjoys teaching.

The global pandemic caused by Covid-19 has been a big lesson for the world in terms of what is normal and sensible with our health, Dr Marshall said.

"Yes more people are conscious of infectious diseases since covid," he said.