Sir Patrick Manson Medal

Latest Manson Medal awardees

The Manson Medal was last awarded in 2019 to Professors Janet Hemingway and David Warrell.

Professor Janet Hemingway is the first women to be awarded the Manson Medal. She is Professor of Vector Biology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, having been Director between 2001 and 2018. While serving as LSTM’s Director, Professor Hemingway was the first CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates funded Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC), which she initiated.

She has dedicated her professional life to alleviating human suffering through the study of insect-transmitted diseases, most notably malaria and said on receiving the medal: “I am extremely pleased to have become the first woman to receive this prestigious award - it really is like standing on the shoulder of giants. I learned a long time ago not to be afraid of taking on those large challenges, I think if you make a decision about where you want to go, you will be amazed at how far you can get."

Professor David Warrell jointly received the Manson Medal in recognition to his lifelong work in tropical medicine, notably on malaria, snakebites and rabies. He was RSTMH President between 1997 and 1999 and founded the Centre for Tropical Medicine in Oxford, he started the research at the Mahidol Oxford Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1979. His research at MORU revolutionised the treatment of severe malaria.

Professor Warrell said: “I have been enormously fortunate to have had the opportunity to carry out clinical research on tropical infectious diseases, envenoming and poisoning in many countries over the past 50 years, first in Ethiopia in 1968 and most recently in Myanmar.

“The very welcome award of the prestigious Sir Patrick Manson Medal by RSTMH recognises these efforts, but most credit is due to my wonderful local collaborators and to support by my academic bases at RPMS Hammersmith Hospital and then the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford. I am honoured and humbled by this award which prompts me to continue fighting for neglected tropical diseases such as rabies and snakebite.”

History of the Manson Medal

At the outset of the twentieth century, Sir Patrick Manson, GCMG, FRS, (3 October 1844 - 9 April 1922) was the most eminent figure in the field of tropical medicine.

Distinguished by his own research, and with a reputation as an outstanding teacher and administrator, he established the scientific basis of tropical medicine. In his own lifetime, he was hailed by Raphael Blanchard of Paris as the "Father of Tropical Medicine".

He made important discoveries in parasitology, including that mosquitoes carry filariasis and that the embryonic filariae only appear in the patient's peripheral blood stream at night when mosquitoes feed.

Sir Patrick was the first President of RSTMH and remained closely associated with the Society until the end of his life. He also founded the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

In 1921 his friends and admirers from all parts of the world subscribed to a Portrait Fund as a mark of their esteem for him and his work. After the portrait, which hangs in the Board Room of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, had been executed, it was decided to use the surplus of the fund to found a medal for outstanding contributions to tropical medicine and hygiene. RSTMH accepted responsibility for administering the award.

The Manson Medal is the Society's highest mark of distinction and is awarded to the living person whose contribution to any branch of tropical medicine or hygiene is considered by the Board of Trustees to merit the honour most.

Eligibility and nominations

RSTMH Fellows or members from anywhere and working in any branch of tropical medicine are eligible to nominate and be nominated for this award.

The Manson Medal is awarded every three years, and will next be awarded in 2022.