by Jen Jenkins, Market Analyst
Three scientists have received the prestigious award this year for what the Nobel Prize committee said were “therapies that have revolutionized the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases.”
Dr. William Campbell, Dr. Satoshi Omura and Dr. Tu Youyou are the recipients of the award; the doctors originate from Ireland, Japan, and China respectively. Dr. Campbell and Dr. Omura collaborated, as well as worked on independent aspects, to develop the medicine Avermectin and will share one half of the prize money; Dr. Tu will claim the other half of the money for the medicine Artemisinin, her discovery of which was inspired by traditional Chinese medicine.
Parasitic diseases threaten approximately one-third of the world’s population today, especially in the poor areas of Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. These two newly developed medicines address the parasitic diseases transferred to humans from black flies and mosquitoes and have been included in the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. Both medicines are distributed to areas in need either for free or at very low cost.
“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” because parasitic diseases “represent a huge barrier to improving human health and well-being.”
-The Nobel Committee, as reported by The New York Times
Read more in depth about these fascinating scientists, their discoveries, what led to their discoveries in this New York Times article.