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
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

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa 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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid