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
TEXT SIZE - +
Kane Farabaugh

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.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid