3 scientists win 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine for hep C virus discovery

Two scientists working in the U.S. and one working in Canada, have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for identifying the hepatitis C virus.

The three scientists are:

● Harvey J. Alter, MD, a senior investigator in the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center's department of transfusion medicine
● Charles M. Rice, PhD, the Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg professor in virology and head of the laboratory of virology and infectious disease at Rockefeller University in New York City
● Michael Houghton, PhD, the Li Ka Shing professor of virology and director of the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute at the University of Alberta in Canada

The scientists made discoveries that led to the identification of the hepatitis C virus. The discovery made possible the development of highly sensitive blood tests for the virus, helping mitigate post-transfusion hepatitis. The discovery also led to the development of antiviral drugs directed at hepatitis C.

"For the first time in history, the disease can now be cured, raising hopes of eradicating hepatitis C virus from the world population," a media release from the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet states.

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