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Nobel-winning chemist Ei-ichi Negishi dead at 85

Japanese scientist did pioneering work in organic compounds used in drugs and farming

Nobel prize-winning chemist Ei-ichi Negishi speaks in 2010 after being awarded Japan's Order of Culture.   © Kyodo

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Ei-ichi Negishi, who shared the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry for work on reactions to create complex organic compounds, has died in Indianapolis, Indiana, according to Purdue University of the United States. He was 85.

Negishi, who was born in Japanese-ruled Manchuria, died on Sunday, the university said. He had been a professor in Purdue's chemistry department since 1979 and served in a distinguished post since 1998, according to its official website.

He won the Nobel Prize along with Japan's Akira Suzuki and American Richard Heck for a method of building complex molecules with a wide range of applications, including in pharmaceuticals and agriculture.

Their contribution "has vastly improved the possibilities for chemists to create sophisticated chemicals, for example carbon-based molecules as complex as those created by nature itself," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in October 2010 when announcing the winners of the prestigious award.

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