The 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine has been awarded to three scientists from China, Ireland, and Japan.
One half of the prize is shared by William Campbell of Drew University and Satoshi Ōmura of Kitasato University for their work on “a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites.” The other half goes to Youyou Tu of the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine for her discovery of “a novel therapy against malaria.”
The Nobel Prize committee said that the researchers’ breakthroughs have had an enormous impact on improved human health and reduced suffering.
All three researchers extracted naturally occurring chemicals that became crucial drugs against diseases that affect hundreds of millions around the world. The prize is a nod to the fact that nature still has a lot to offer in terms of medicine.
Tu’s award has special significance. She is only the 12th woman among the 210 Nobel laureates in medicine. It is also an acknowledgment of advances in Chinese science, which many—especially in the state-owned media—have lamented has rarely been recognized by the Nobel committee. Tu is the first Chinese scientist to win the prize for medicine and only the third Chinese citizen to win a science Nobel.
More on this year’s Nobel Prizes: