3 win Nobel Medicine Prize 2020 for Hepatitis C virus discovery

New Delhi (NVI): The Nobel Prize 2020 in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded jointly to Harvey J Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M Rice for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus.

Hepatitis C virus or HCV causes hepatitis C infection – a disease that causes inflammation and infection of the liver.

This year’s Nobel Prize for Medicine has been 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, said a press release by the Nobel Committee.

“Harvey J Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M Rice 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,” added the release.

The Nobel Prizes for Medicine, Physics, and Chemistry are the pinnacle of scientific achievement, honoring great minds and life-changing discoveries. The winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

For the prize in medicine, a five-member Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute screens nominations and chooses candidates. The winners are awarded with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor (over USD 1,118,000). The other prestigious prizes include physics, chemists, literature, peace and economics.