Alfred Nobel willed the largest share of his fortune to establish a series of prizes – the Nobel Prize Awards, to those who have “conferred the greatest benefit to mankind” on 27 Nov 1895. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is one of the series of Nobel Prizes established and 210 individuals have been awarded this prestigious prize since 1901.
The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is divided between William C. Campbell (1/4 prize share), Satoshi Omura (1/4 prize share) “for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites” and to Youyou Tu (1/2 prize share) “for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against malaria”.
Join us in celebrating the works of the awardees and read some of their research at the end of this post, for free!
William C. Campbell was born in 1930 in Ireland and was conferred his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, USA in 1957. Satoshi Omura was born in 1935, Japan and gained his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Tokyo, Japan in 1968 and another in Chemistry from the Tokyo University of Science.
Omura isolated new strains of the bacterium Streptomyces which is known to produce the antibiotic Streptomycin. His course of work in the culture of the bacteria led to Campbell’s discovery of avermectin, a bioactive compound found to be extremely effective against parasites in animals. Through chemical modification, ivermectin was produced and this gave birth to an entirely new class of drugs against parasite worms. Ivermectin is used in the treatment of conditions such as river blindness and lymphatic filariasis and has immensely improved the lives of the poor.
Youyou Tu is the 12th woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. She was born in 1930, China and had graduated from the Peking University Health Science Center, China in 1955. Her work in traditional Chinese medicine led to her discovery of artemisinin, an active component from the plant Artemisia annua, paving the way for a novel and effective TCM treatment for malaria.
William C. Campbell
- Ivermectin, an antiparasitic agent
Medicinal Research Reviews
- Asymmetric Total Synthesis of Indole Alkaloids Containing an Indoline Spiroaminal Framework
Chemistry – A European Journal
- Organocatalytic α-Addition of Isocyanides to Aldehydes
European Journal of Organic Chemistry
- Structure Determination and Total Synthesis of Bottromycin A2: A Potent Antibiotic against MRSA and VRE
Angewandte Chemie International Edition
- Book chapter: Screening of Novel Receptor-Active Compounds of Microbial Origin
Biotechnology: Products of Secondary Metabolism, Volume 7, Second Edition
- 5,9-Diacetyl (3,6)bicycloleuconolide A3
Acta Crystallographica Section B
Articles are free to read until 10 Dec 2015.