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Vincent Barry - TLM Hero

A black and white photo of a man in a suit with dark hair writing at a desk

Vincent Barry was a scientist and researcher from Ireland. His contribution to the fight to defeat leprosy is significant, as he led the team which developed the anti-leprosy drug clofazimine, which is now a one of the three antibiotics that comprise Multi Drug Therapy, the cure for leprosy.

Vincent worked for The Leprosy Mission in Zimbabwe and India in an effort to find medications to treat leprosy. In the 1950s he received support from The Leprosy Mission as he led a team of nine researchers from Trinity College in Dublin. Together they synthesised a drug that was initially known as B663 but later became clofazimine.

The discovery of this treatment has made it possible for countless millions of people to be treated for leprosy since Multi Drug Therapy was defined by the WHO as the treatment for leprosy in the 1980s. This discovery also led to Vincent and his team being awarded the 1980 UNESCO Science Prize.

His funeral in 1975 was attended by one current and one future President of Ireland.