The winners were announced in Stockholm by Thomas Perlmann, the head of the Nobel Committee.
BREAKING NEWS: The 2020 #NobelPrize 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.” pic.twitter.com/MDHPmbiFmS
As per the estimates of The World Health Organisation, there are over 70 million cases of hepatitis worldwide. And the disease causes approximately 400,000 deaths each year. A chronic disease, it is also a major cause of liver cancer and inflammation.
Detailing the trio’s research, the Nobel Committee tweeted: “2020 #NobelPrize laureates Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice made seminal discoveries that led to the identification of a novel virus, Hepatitis C virus. The methodical studies of transfusion-associated hepatitis by 2020 Medicine Laureate Harvey J. Alter demonstrated that an unknown virus was a common cause of chronic hepatitis. Michael Houghton – awarded the 2020 #NobelPrize in Physiology or Medicine – used an untested strategy to isolate the genome of the new virus that was named Hepatitis C virus. This year’s Medicine Laureate Charles M. Rice provided the final evidence showing that Hepatitis C virus alone could cause hepatitis.”
The methodical studies of transfusion-associated hepatitis by 2020 Medicine Laureate Harvey J. Alter demonstrated that an unknown virus was a common cause of chronic hepatitis.#NobelPrize
The Nobel Prize winners are awarded a gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1,118,000).
The awards are named after Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel who left the bequest 124 years ago.
This year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine carried particular significance due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the worldwide emphasis on medical research and how it can benefit societies and economies around the world.
The Nobel Prize for outstanding work in the fields of physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics will be announced in the days to come.