Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded to 3 Scientists for Parasite-Fighting Therapies
The winners of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine have been announced. This year, the honor is being jointly shared by William C Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura and by Youyou Tu.
Ireland’s Campbell is, currently, a Research Fellow Emeritus at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey, US while Japan’s Omura is Professor Emeritus at Kitasato University, Japan. They won the award for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites.
China’s Youyou Tu is Chief Professor at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has won the Nobel for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.
Declaring the Prize winners, the Nobel committee issued a press release which stated-
‘Diseases caused by parasites have plagued humankind for millennia and constitute a major global health problem. In particular, parasitic diseases affect the world’s poorest populations and represent a huge barrier to improving human health and wellbeing. This year’s Nobel Laureates have developed therapies that have revolutionized the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases.
William C Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura discovered a new drug, Avermectin, the derivatives of which have radically lowered the incidence of River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis, as well as showing efficacy against an expanding number of other parasitic diseases. Youyou Tu discovered Artemisinin, a drug that has significantly reduced the mortality rates for patients suffering from Malaria.
These two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people annually. The consequences in terms of improved human health and reduced suffering are immeasurable.’