Award

3 scientists win Nobel Prize in Medicine for parasite-fighting therapies

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to award the 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine with one half jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites and the other half to Youyou Tu for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awards discoveries regarding...
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awards discoveries regarding novel therapies for some of the most devastating parasitic diseases: River Blindness, Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis) and Malaria. The distribution of these diseases is quite similar and is collectively shown in blue on the world map.
Source: The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet
Satoshi Ōmura searched for novel strains of Streptomyces bacteria as a source...
Satoshi Ōmura searched for novel strains of Streptomyces bacteria as a source for new bioactive compounds.He isolated microbes from soil samples in Japan, cultured them in the laboratory (inset to left) andcharacterized many thousands of Streptomyces cultures. From those, he selected around 50 cultures that appeared most promising, and one of these cultures later turned out to be Streptomyces avermitilis (inset to right), the source of Avermectin.
Source: The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet

Campbell, an Irishman, is a research fellow emeritus at Drew University in Madison, N.J., whereas Japanese scientist Satoshi Omur is a professor emeritus at Kitasato University. They were recognized for the discoveries leading to ivermectin, a semi-synthetic derivative of a drug from soil bacteria to kill roundworms that cause river blindness and, to a lesser extent, elephantiasis.

They will share the prize with YouYou Tu, who is chief professor at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, for her work in significantly reducing the mortality rates of patients suffering from malaria. Tu isolated the anti-malarial drug artemisinin from a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine. She is the 12th woman to receive the Nobel Prize in the medicine category.

"These two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people annually," the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet said in a prepared statement. "The consequences in terms of improved human health and reduced suffering are immeasurable."

The trio will share the $960,000 prize money with one half going to Campbell and Omura, and the other to Tu. Each winner will also receive a diploma and a gold medal at the award ceremony in December.

Key publications:
Burg et al., Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (1979) 15:361-367.
Egerton et al., Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (1979) 15:372-378.
Tu et al., Yao Xue Xue Bao (1981) 16, 366-370 (Chinese).


Source: The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet

05.10.2015

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Survey

DNA Electronics tackles the growing threat of antibiotic resistance

DNA Electronics (‘DNAe’), the inventors of semiconductor DNA sequencing technology and developers of a new point-of-need test for blood infections, highlights the urgent need for fast diagnostics…

Photo

The Robert Koch Foundation announces the 2013 laureates

Robert Koch Award 2013 goes to Jeffrey I. Gordon for pioneering studies of the human microbiome; Anthony S. Fauci receives the Robert Koch Gold Medal 2013 for outstanding scientific contributions to…

Photo

New price for hospital hygiene und infection prevention

In 2013, the Robert‐Koch‐Stiftung will for the first time award a prize for excellent scientific research and practical measures in the field of hospital hygiene und infection prevention.…

Related products

Atlas Genetics - Atlas Genetics io system

Infectious diseases testing

Atlas Genetics - Atlas Genetics io system

Atlas Genetics Ltd
Eppendorf – Mastercycler nexus X2

Research Use Only (RUO)

Eppendorf – Mastercycler nexus X2

Eppendorf AG
Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Research Use Only (RUO)

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

SARSTEDT AG & CO. KG
Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Research Use Only (RUO)

Shimadzu – CLAM-2030

Shimadzu Europa GmbH
Siemens Healthineers – Versant HCV Genotype 2.0 Assay (LiPA)

Infectious Disease/Hepatitis

Siemens Healthineers – Versant HCV Genotype 2.0 Assay (LiPA)

Siemens Healthineers