Nobel Prize for Medicine 2015 winners

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Three scientists from Ireland, Japan and China have won the Nobel prize in medicine for discoveries that helped doctors fight malaria and infections caused by roundworm parasites.The Nobel Prize 2015 in Physiology or Medicine jointly went to William C. Campbell (Ireland) and Satoshi Omura, (Japan) and Youyou Tu (China).

These scientists will receive their prizes on December 10, 2015 at a formal ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden marking the anniversary of the death of prize creator Alfred Nobel.Last year’s medicine award went to three scientists who discovered the brain’s inner navigation system.

The medicine award was the first Nobel Prize to be announced. The winners of the physics, chemistry and peace prizes are set to be announced later this week. The economics prize will be announced next Monday. No date has been set yet for the literature prize, but it is expected to be announced on Thursday.

William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura :-

  • 80-year-old Satoshi Omura is an expert in soil microbes at Kitasato University while William C. Campbell is an Irish-born parasitologist at Drew University in New Jersey.
  • Mr. Campbell and Mr. Omura have  discovered a new drug, Avermectin, the derivatives of which have radically lowered the incidence of River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis.
  • Professor Omura and Professor Campbell made their breakthrough in fighting parasitic worms, or helminths, after studying compounds from soil bacteria.That led to the discovery of avermectin, which was then further modified into ivermectin.
  • The treatment is so successful river blindness and lymphatic filariasis are now on the verge of being eradicated. Together, the scientists have transformed the lives of millions of people in the developing world, where parasitic diseases that cause illness and death are most rife.

About the ​​Diseases:- River blindness is skin and eye disease which ultimately leads to blindness. Lymphatic filariasis which is also known as elephantiasis causes painful swelling of the limbs.Lymphatic filariasis affects more than 100 million people. Those who contract the disease can suffer swelling, including elephantiasis, and disability, that can lead to them being shunned by their communities.

Youyou Tu :-

  • Youyou Tu discovered one of the most effective treatments for malaria while working on a secret military project during China’s Cultural Revolution. "Artemisinin" discovered by Youyou Tu has significantly reduced the mortality rates for patients suffering from Malaria.Tu is chief professor at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • The first tests of Youyou Tu's  discovered medicine took place in 1972 in Hainan when 21 people with malaria were given Tu’s preparations. About half had the deadliest form of malaria, caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, with the rest infected with the most common cause, Plasmodium vivax. The treatments wiped out the parasites in both.    

84 -year-old pharmacologist Youyou Tu has been awarded half of the prestigious 8 million Swedish kronor (about 960,000 USD) prize money for her discovery of artemisinin which has proved to be an improvement on chloroquine, which had become far less effective as the malaria parasites developed resistance.

These two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people annually.

Award :-

The winners will share the 8 million Swedish kronor (about USD 960,000) prize money with one half going to Campbell and Omura, and the other to Tu. Each winner will also get a diploma and a gold medal at the annual award ceremony on Dec. 10, the anniversary of the death of prize founder Alfred Nobel.

​About Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine :-

  • The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded once a year for outstanding discoveries in the fields of life sciences and medicine. 
  • It is one of five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, in his will.
  • As of 2014, 105 Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine have been awarded to 206 men and 11 women.
  • The first Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded in 1901 to the German physiologist Emil Adolf von Behring, for his work on serum therapy and the development of a vaccine against diphtheria.
  • The first woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Gerty Cori, received it in 1947 for her role in elucidating the metabolism of glucose, important in many aspects of medicine, including treatment of diabetes.


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