Three scientists from Ireland, Japan and China won the Nobel Prize in medicine for their work that’s helped fight malaria and infections caused by parasites.
The esteemed prizes awarded on Monday were given to Irish-born William Campbell, Japan’s Satoshi Omura, and Tu Youyou — the first ever Chinese medicine winner.
Campbell is a research fellow emeritus at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Omura, 80, is a professor emeritus at Kitasato University in Japan and is from the central prefecture of Yamanashi. Tu is chief professor at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Both Campbell and Omura are credited with discovering a drug that has helped lower the rate of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, two diseases caused by parasitic worms. Tu’s discovery is a remedy that has significantly reduced the mortality rates of malaria patients.
“The two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people annually,” the Nobel Prize committee said. “The consequences in terms of improved human health and reduced suffering are immensurable.”
The three winners will split the 8 million Swedish kronor (about $960,000) prize money, with one half going to Campbell and Omura, and the rest to Tu.
The winners of the physics, chemistry and peace prizes are set to be announced later this week.