Youyou Tu, a professor at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, will share this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Tu’s work in helping to combat mortality rates in those afflicted by malaria was recognized by the Nobel committee in Stockholm. She earns half the prize, with the other half going to William C. Campbell of Drew University in New Jersey and Satoshi Omura, professor emeritus at Kitsato University in Japan.
Youyou Tu becomes the first Chinese Nobel Laureate in Medicine. Tu won the Lasker Award in 2011. New Scientist featured her at the time calling her a “modest woman who beat malaria for China.” The Nobel Prize committee made certain in its announcement that though Tu may be modest, her accomplishments are anything but. “The consequences in terms of improved human health and reduced suffering are immeasurable,” Stockholm said in awarding both prizes. Tu was born in 1930. Her work in traditional Chinese medicine gained momentum and attention after China’s government, after a massively funded effort, failed (like its counterparts in other countries) to produce synthetic compounds that could effectively combat malaria. Gerty Radnitz Cori was the first woman to win the Nobel for Physiology or Medicine. She won in 1947 for her study of enzymes and hormones.
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 5, 2015