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The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015 was awarded with one half jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura, and the other half to Youyou Tu.

Research that Contributed Greatly to the Development of Medicine for Infectious Diseases and Saved Countless Lives

Dr. Omura and Dr. Campbell discovered Avermectin, a treatment for onchocerciasis (an infectious disease that leads to blindness, also called river blindness) and lymphatic filariasis (causes the severe swelling called elephantiasis). Avermectin is an anti-parasitic compound produced by the microorganism Streptomyces avermectinius, found in soil. Ivermectin, which is derived from Avermectin, has saved hundreds of millions of lives, primarily in Africa and Southeast Asia. The medicine was initially developed to eliminate parasites and prevent infections in livestock, and therefore has also contributed to protecting our precious food supply.

At the main entrance of the Kitasato Institute of Life Sciences, with which Dr. Omura is affiliated, there is a statue of a child guiding an adult who has lost his sight due to onchocerciasis. The statue was commissioned to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the discovery of Avermectin. It was created by a sculptor in Burkina Faso and erected in September 2004.

See also
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine


Satoshi Omura

2015       Asahi Prize
2014       Canada Gairdner Global Health Award
2013       Distinguished Emeritus Professor at Kitasato University
2008-2012    President Emeritus, The Kitasato Institute
2007       Emeritus Professor at Kitasato University
2007-2015.6    President, Joshibi University of Art and Design
2007       Built a Nirasaki Omura museum at his own expense in Yamanashi Prefecture, his hometown
2005       Max Tishler Professor, Wesleyan University
2002-2007    Special Coordinator of the Research Project for Drug Discovery from Natural Products in the Kitasato Institute for Life Sciences
2001-2003    First Director, the Kitasato Institute for Life Sciences
1997-2003    President, Joshibi University of Art and Design
1990-2008    Director, the Kitasato Institute
1975-1984    Professor, Kitasato University School of Pharmacy
1971       Visiting Professor, Wesleyan University
1970       PhD in Chemistry from Tokyo University of Science
1968       Associate Professor, Kitasato University
1968       PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Tokyo
1965       Researcher, The Kitasato Institute
1963       Research Associate, Yamanashi University
1963       M.S. in Science from Science University of Tokyo
1958       Served as a science teacher for a part-time course of Tokyo Metropolitan Sumida Technical High School
         While beginning a teaching career, he was also studying at Graduate School of Science, Science University of Tokyo (currently Tokyo University of Science)
1958       Graduated from Faculty of Liberal Arts and Science, Yamanashi University
1954       Graduated from Nirasaki High School
1935       Born in Yamanashi

(October 14, 2015/ Revised)