Milking a Malayan krait of its venom with Jeremy Farrar and Trinh Xuan Kiem in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 1996

Professor David Warrell

Professor David Warrell was the founding director of the Wellcome Trust-Mahidol University, Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Programme in Thailand, the Centre for Tropical Medicine in Oxford, and its international Tropical Medicine Research network. He has advised, among others, the British Army, Foreign Office, Royal Geographical Society and World Health Organisation, on malaria, rabies, snakebite, and expedition medicine.

Over the last 50 years, in Africa, Asia, Oceania and Latin America, his research interests included respiratory diseases, relapsing fever, rabies, malaria, and venomous and poisonous plants and animals. He published some of the earliest randomised controlled trials of antivenoms, in Nigeria, Thailand, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia and Papua New Guinea, and was involved in the landmark “million death study” in India that revealed 46,000 snake-bite fatalities in 2005. With many colleagues, he has struggled to raise the profile of snakebite as an important environmental and occupational health hazard. This culminated in the recognition of snakebite as a category A neglected tropical disease (NTD) by WHO and approval of a resolution by the 2018 World Health Assembly to promote the control of this most neglected of all NTDs.

He has been senior editor of the Oxford Textbook of Medicine, Essential Malariology, and the Oxford Handbook of Expedition and Wilderness Medicine and has co-authored more than 400 papers on various topics in tropical medicine.