3 Win Nobel Prize in Medicine for Discovery of Hepatitis C Virus

The 2020 Nobel Prizes award ceremony kicked off on Monday morning.

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The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was on Monday, 5 October, awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus.

The announcement was made by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm on Monday, kicking off the 2020 Nobel Prizes award ceremony.

“This year’s Nobel Prize is awarded to three scientists who have made a decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world,” a press release said, adding that the trio had made “seminal discoveries that led to the identification of a novel virus, Hepatitis C virus.”

“Prior to their work, the discovery of the Hepatitis A and B viruses had been critical steps forward, but the majority of blood-borne hepatitis cases remained unexplained. The discovery of Hepatitis C virus revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives.”
The Nobel Committee

The prize in Medicine will be followed by the announcement of the Physics prize on Tuesday and Chemistry on Wednesday, AFP reported. The announcements for the Literature and Peace prizes will happen on Thursday and Friday, while the Economics prize will be announced on 12 October, wrapping things up.

The Nobel award comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1,118,000).

(With inputs from AFP.)

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