William C. Campbell (Ireland), Satoshi Omura (Japan), and Youyou Tu (China) have won Nobel Prize in medicine this year, said a report by NY Times. William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won the prize for developing a new drug called Avermectin, an offshoot of which has nearly exterminated river blindness and significantly reduced the incidence of filariasis, which causes the disfiguring swelling of the lymph system in the legs and lower body known as elephantiasis. Youyou Tu won the prize for discovering a drug called Artemisinin that has significantly reduced the death from malaria.
“These two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that affect hundreds of millions of people annually,” the committee said in a statement. “The consequences in terms of improved human health and reduced suffering are immeasurable.”
We tried to dig deep to know more about these three great scientists of our time, here is what we have got.
William C. Campbell
Age: 85 years. Born on 28 June, 1930 in Ramelton, County Donegal, Ireland
Important: His father, R.J. Campbell, was a farm supplier
Education: Graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in 1952 and then earned a PhD from University of Wisconsin in 1957
Significant: He is the second Irish Scientist to win a Nobel prize
Currently: A research fellow emeritus at Drew University
Age: 80 years. Born on 12 July 1935 in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
Education: Graduated from the University of Yamanashi, received M.S. degree from Tokyo University of Science and a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Tokyo and his second Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Tokyo University of Science
Significant: Recipient of the Japan Academy Prize in 1990
Currently: Professor emeritus at Kitasato University
Important: During his half a century career, Omura discovered more than 450 unique bioactive compounds and clarified their structures. He is the 23rd Nobel recipient for Japan, and follows last year’s win by three scientists — Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura — in Physics. He is also the first Japanese to win a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine since Kyoto University Prof. Shinya Yamanaka in 2012.
Age: 84 years. Born on December 30, 1930, Ningbo, China
Education: Graduated from the Pharmacy Department at Beijing Medical University in 1955
Significant: First native Chinese in history to receive the Nobel Prize in natural sciences and Lasker Award, who was educated in China and whose work was carried out within China
Currently: Professor at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine
Important: Tu is regarded as the Professor of 03 Nos – no postgraduate degree (there was no postgraduate education in then-China), no study or research experience abroad, and not a member of any Chinese national academies.
Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based writer, researcher, and entrepreneur. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Future Startup and the author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He writes about entrepreneurship, business, strategy, technology, and culture. He can be reached at [email protected]
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