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Japanese Nobel winner hospitalised in US, wife found dead

Japanese Nobel winner hospitalised in US, wife found dead

CHICAGO: A Japanese Nobel Prize winner was hospitalised on Wednesday and his wife was dead, reportedly after driving off a road in rural Illinois.

Ei-ichi Negishi, 82, a chemist teaching at Purdue University in the neighbouring state of Indiana, and his wife Sumire Negishi, 80, were reported missing on Monday.

Police found them early on Tuesday morning about 320 kilometres northeast of their home, on land belonging to a company that runs a landfill.

Police discovered Ei-ichi Negishi walking in the area, and his wife was found dead near their car.

The couple had been driving to a nearby airport and became disoriented, and Ei-Ichi Negishi crashed their car into a ditch, according to a television channel.

The TV station reported that Sumire Negishi had stayed behind while her husband left looking for help.

The coroner’s office said an autopsy was pending. Ei-ichi Negishi was receiving treatment at a hospital, police said.

Negishi is a Japanese national who came to the US on a Fulbright scholarship in 1960 to study chemistry. He joined the Purdue faculty in 1979.

He, along with two other scientists, won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2010 for developing a method for creating complex chemicals. The method is widely used, especially for the production of pharmaceuticals.

Published in Dawn, March 15th, 2018

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