3 nominees win Nobel Prize in medicine

McKenna has met Tu and written about her for New Scientist magazine. Among the winners: William C. Campbell of Drew University in Madison N.J., for his work on the roundworm parasite. He was a researcher at the Kitasato Institute, Japan from 1965-1971 and Professor at Kitasato University, Japan from 1975–2007. ‘I think it’s really, really timely because we really need to discover new antibiotics and, personally, I think the way forward is to adopt Ōmura’s approach, which is looking for new organisms [that] we can isolate from the environment, ‘ Dyson says.


Omura, a microbiologist, isolated new strains of a group of bacteria called Streptomyces, and successfully cultured them in the lab.

William Campbell, of North Andover, joins two others from around the world in being awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine.

So far, he has found around 500 kinds of valuable chemical substances created by microbes, more than 20 of which are now used for medical purposes.

The Nobel Committee noted that the three scientists made it heavily to the stabilized treatment for the deadly diseases, after decades of human sufferings.

“To date MSD is still building on the great work of Professor Campbell by supporting the Mectizan Donation programme which, after 27 years, is still the longest-running disease-specific drug donation programme and public-private partnership of its kind”, MSD said.

Ivermectin later was found to be effective in humans as well. She is the first ever Nobel laureate in medicine from China.

Artemisinin is now coupled with other therapies as first-line treatment to combat malaria.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that still kills around 500,000 people a year, mostly in Africa, despite efforts to control it.

Dr Colin Sutherland, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said it was immensely gratifying that the achievements in tackling these important diseases had been recognised.

Still, artemisinin resistance has already been confirmed in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

William C Campbell, 85, who was born in Ramelton, Co Donegal, and later attended Trinity College Dublin, was awarded the prize at a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden.

Tu is the 13th woman to win this Nobel Prize. ‘You can’t underestimate the importance of … the piece of work of the prize victor, Tu, who [could] see a way to go from this herbal medicine that was a bit hit and miss … to a pharmaceutical product that could actually be distributed as a tablet’.

Zhang said the team of Li Guoqiao, from Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, proved the drug’s effectiveness in a 1974 clinical trial. Lou Zhicen to study traditional Chinese medicine.

The winners – from Japan, China and the United States – worked separately to find medicines that were synthesized into powerful and effective drugs.

The award was the first of this year’s to be announced.


A fourth-century Chinese mystic who lived at the time when Britain was still part of the Roman Empire provided a key insight into an anti-malaria drug that has been honoured in the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. The prize in literature will be awarded on Thursday, the prize in peace will be awarded on Friday, and the economics prize will be awarded on Monday, October 12.

Three scientists who discovered drugs against malaria and other parasites are