News / Science & Technology

    American, 2 Japanese Win Nobel Prize in Chemistry

    Co-recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Purdue University professor, Japanese Ei-ichi Negishi
    Co-recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Purdue University professor, Japanese Ei-ichi Negishi

    Purdue University professor, Japanese Ei-ichi Negishi is a co-recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  He shares the award with Japanese Akira Suzuki of Hokkaido University and American Richard Heck of the University of Delaware.  Together, their work created a method to build complex organic molecules that are now used to manufacture a range of products - from pharmaceuticals to electronics.  Our correspondent spoke with Negishi at his office in Indiana shortly after the Nobel announcement was made.

    For 75-year-old Ei-ichi Negishi, winning the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry was an achievement more than 30 years in the making.

    Negishi's research led to metal based reactions, called palladium catalyzed cross coupling, that enables the synthesis of complex organic compounds.

    "It's like a LEGO game with chemical pieces," said Professor Negishi.

    Negishi says his research discovered which metals serve as a catalyst to get organic compounds to "snap" together with other compounds.

    The result is a process that efficiently and economically builds materials used to make products such as medicines to treat the HIV virus and colon cancer, and liquid visual displays for modern electronics.

    "And many of them, used on TV display panels or cell phones - these liquid crystals, they are synthesized by using our cross coupling," said Negishi.

    Although most people have used products that stem from Negishi's research, he says the medical benefits have been the most rewarding for him.

    "Just by looking at the TV screen - without knowing what is behind the panel, you wouldn't appreciate what we have done," he said. "But medicine, if you take [it] and your life and health is improved or saved, and then you learn the process of making - what kind of chemistry has been used - I'm sure people will appreciate [it]."

    Negishi is the third Purdue University professor win a Nobel Prize.  His mentor, chemist Herbert C. Brown, was a co-recipient of the award in 1979.  Negishi and fellow Nobel recipient Akira Suzuki studied under Brown at Purdue.

    Negishi is the author of two books and more than 400 scientific articles.  He says there is more research to perform in the ever-advancing field that led to his Nobel Prize.

    "I can predict that many more innovative and modern advanced synthetic metals will arise," he said.

    The Nobel Committee will present the $1.5-million award to Negishi and his fellow co-recipients in December in Sweden.


    Kane Farabaugh

    Kane Farabaugh is the Midwest Correspondent for Voice of America, where since 2008 he has established Voice of America's presence in the heartland of America.

    You May Like

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora