Wellcome Trust reaction to Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2015

Wellcome Trust Director Jeremy Farrar has issued the below statement in reaction today's announcement that the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded for groundbreaking work on parasitic diseases.

Dr Tu Youyou and her then-tutor Lou Zhicen in 1951
Dr Tu Youyou and her then-tutor Lou Zhicen in 1951
Credit: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons, photographer unknown

The 2015 prize is shared between William C Campbell and Satoshi Omura for their work on a new way of tackling infections caused by roundworm parasites; and Tu Youyou for her role in the discovery of a therapy against malaria.

Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "I am delighted that the development of drugs to tackle parasitic infectious diseases has been recognised. Today's Nobel Prize rightly highlights the impact of studying the neglected tropical diseases that kill millions worldwide – the discovery of artemisinin and avermectins has transformed the treatment of malaria, river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.

"The restrictions of the Prize, however, mean that other Chinese scientists who played a critical role in the discovery of artemisinin are unfortunately not acknowledged alongside Dr Tu Youyou. The pivotal role they played in China's first Nobel Prize for medicine should be honoured and celebrated. We should also remember those whose work ensured it was developed as a medicine and then used worldwide. Scientific endeavour is increasingly a collaborative and global effort that involves great contributions from many individuals."