Satoshi Ōmura

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Satoshi Ōmura
大村 智
Satoshi Ōmura 5040-2015.jpg
Satoshi Ōmura, Nobel Laureate in medicine in Stockholm December 2015
Born (1935-07-12) 12 July 1935 (age 85)
Alma materUniversity of Yamanashi (B.S.
Tokyo University of Science (M.S., Sc. D.)
University of Tokyo (Ph. D.)
Known forAvermectin and Ivermectin
Discoveries more than 480 new compounds
AwardsJapan Academy Prize (1990)
Koch Gold Medal (1997)
Ernest Guenther Award in the Chemistry of Natural Products (2005)
Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry (2010)
Gairdner Global Health Award (2014)
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2015)
Scientific career
InstitutionsKitasato University
Wesleyan University
Academic advisorsKoji Nakanishi
Max Tishler

Satoshi Ōmura [satoɕi oːmu͍ɽa] (大村 智, Ōmura Satoshi, born 12 July 1935) is a Japanese biochemist. He is known for the discovery and development of various pharmaceuticals originally occurring in microorganisms. In 2015, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with William C. Campbell and Tu Youyou.

Early life and education[edit]

Satoshi Ōmura was born in Nirasaki, Yamanashi, Japan, in 1935, the second son of Ōmura family. After graduating from the University of Yamanashi in 1958, he was appointed to science teacher at Tokyo Metropolitan Sumida Tech High School. In 1960, he became an auditor of Koji Nakanishi’s course at Tokyo University of Education, one year later, he enrolled in the Tokyo University of Science (TUS) and studied sciences. Ōmura received his M.S. degree from TUS and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Tokyo (1968, a Dissertation PhD) and a Ph.D. in Chemistry at TUS (1970).[1]


Since 1965 Ōmura served at Kitasato Institute system.[2] From 1970 to 1990, he also became a part-time lecturer at Tokyo University of Science.[3]

In 1971, he was a visiting professor at Wesleyan University,[2] he consulted the chairman of the American Chemical Society, Max Tishler, at the a Canadian international conference. Finally, they succeeded in acquiring research expenses from Merck & Co. .[4]

Ōmura was considering continuing his research in the United States, but he ultimately decided to move back to Japan. In 1973, he became a director of the antibiotic laboratory at Kitasato University,[5] and he also started collaborative research with Merck & Co. .[6] In 1975, he became professor of Kitasato University School of Pharmacy. Meanwhile, the Ōmura laboratory raised many researchers and produced 31 university professors and 120 doctors.

At present date, Ōmura is professor emeritus at Kitasato University and Max Tishler Professor of Chemistry at Wesleyan University.


Satoshi Ōmura is known for the discovery and development of various pharmaceuticals originally occurring in microorganisms. He was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with William C. Campbell and Tu Youyou for discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites. More precisely, his research group isolated a strain of Streptomyces avermitilis that produce the anti-parasitical compound avermectin. Campbell later acquired these bacteria and developed the derived drug ivermectin that is today used against river blindness, lymphatic filariasis, scabies and other parasitic infections.[1][7][8]

Since 1970s, Ōmura discoveries more than 480 new compounds, there are 25 kinds of drugs and reagents in use, such as a specific inhibitor of protein kinase: staurosporine, a proteasome inhibitor: lactacystin, a fatty acid biosynthesis inhibitor: cerulenin, and andrastin, herbimycin, neoxaline, and so on, which have greatly contributed to the elucidation of life phenomena. Furthermore, compounds having a unique structure and biological activity discovered by Omura are drawing attention as lead compounds in drug discovery research, and new anticancer drugs and the like have been created.

A Children's statues leading to adults of onchocerciasis before Kitasato University buildings were produced by sculptors of Burkina Faso in honor of Ōmura's contributions of avermectin and ivermectin, a symbol of the campaign to eradicate onchocerciasis,[9] the similar life-sized Bronze statue is built in World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters, Carter Center, Merck & Co., World Bank Headquarters, and Burkina Faso's World Health Organization Africa Onchocerciasis Control Program.

Social role[edit]

Ōmura served as deputy director and director at the Kitasato Institute, he was devoted to rebuild the laboratory and promoting the establishment of the medical center (now Kitasato University Medical Center). Meanwhile, he establishing a path to rebuilding of the corporate (school juridical person), it has integrated with the School corporation Kitasato Gakuen and has succeeded in establishing a new "School corporation Kitasato Institute". In addition, in the education field, he served as president of the School corporation Joshibi University of Art and Design twice, and served as the honorary school chief of the School corporation Kaichi Gakuen.[10] In 2007, he established the Nirasaki Omura Art Museum on his collection.[11]

Awards and honors[edit]

Satoshi Ōmura (left) and William C. Campbell (right) in Stockholm, December 2015.

Honorary doctorates[edit]

List of honorary doctorate:[16]

Learned societies membership[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Satoshi Omura PhD". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b 大村智北里研究所顧問・北里大学名誉教授が文化功労者に 北里大学 2012年11月1日
  3. ^ [from ストックホルム「これからは人材の育成に努力します」大村先生が語った受賞後の活動]TUSToday 2015.12.18
  4. ^ 「人間発見」日本経済新聞2010年7月14日
  5. ^ 「【ノーベル賞受賞】大村智氏、常識破りの発想で治療薬開発 」 産経ニュース2015.10.5
  6. ^ 「 新しい微生物創薬の世界を切り開く 」 JT
  7. ^ Press release
  8. ^ "Japanese microbiologist Satoshi Omura shares Nobel Prize for medicine". The Japan Times. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  9. ^ 新しい微生物創薬の世界を切り開く | サイエンティスト・ライブラリー | JT生命誌研究館
  10. ^ "大村先生". 開智学園高等部. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  11. ^ "韮崎大村美術館 館長あいさつ 大村智". 韮崎大村美術館. Archived from the original on 2015-10-15. Retrieved 2015-10-12.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Satoshi Ōmura. "Satoshi Ōmura Curriculum Vitae" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Robert Koch Gold Medal". Robert-Koch-Stiftung e.V. Retrieved 2015-10-05.
  14. ^ 【政府】11年「春の叙勲」‐森田氏に旭重、大村氏が瑞重 薬事日報 2011年6月20日
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ List of Members | Prof. Dr. Dr. Satoshi Ōmura
  18. ^ Member Directory | Satoshi Omura
  19. ^ Japan Academy membership profile
  20. ^ Académie des sciences membership profile

External links[edit]