Omura, Satoshi

Omura, Satoshi,

1935–, Japanese biochemist, grad .Univ. of Tokyo (Ph.D. 1968), Tokyo Univ. of Science (Ph.D. 1970). He has been a researcher and leader at the Kitasato Institute since 1965. Omura shared half of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with William CampbellCampbell, William Cecil,
1930–, Irish-American biologist and parasitologist, b. Derry, Northern Ireland, Ph.D. Univ. of Wisconsin–Madison, 1957. He became a U.S. citizen in 1962.
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 for their discoveries concerning the treatment of infections caused by roundworm parasites. Avermectin, the drug they discovered, along with its derivative, ivermectin, has significantly reduced the occurrence of river blindnessriver blindness
or onchocerciasis,
disease caused by the parasitic nematode worm Onchocerca volvulus. The worm larvae are transmitted by the bites of blackflies (genus Simulium) that live in fast moving streams.
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 and lymphatic filariasis (see elephantiasiselephantiasis
, abnormal enlargement of any part of the body due to obstruction of the lymphatic channels in the area (see lymphatic system), usually affecting the arms, legs, or external genitals.
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), diseases that are a serious public health issue in tropical regions. Omura and Campbell collaborated but worked independently on different aspects of the discovery of the drug, which is derived from a bacterium in soil. Tu YouyouTu Youyou,
1930–, Chinese pharmaceutical chemist, B.S. Peking Univ. School of Medicine, 1955. Tu has spent her entire career as a researcher at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing.
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 was awarded the other half of the prize.