American scientists Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice, and British-born scientist Michael Houghton were awarded the Nobel Prize 2020 for Medicine/Physiology.
The season of Nobel prize distribution has started on Monday starting with Medical field. This year’s Medical or Physiology was awarded to 3 scientists for their efforts and discovery of the Hepatitis C virus.
Hepatitis or Liver disease that affects millions of people worldwide was a major concern. The trio’s work helped in explaining the source of blood-borne hepatitis that couldn’t be explained previously discovered hepatitis A and B viruses.
The Nobel Committee announced the prize in Stockholm for Medicine/Physiology. Announcing the award, the committee said
Thanks to their discovery, highly sensitive blood tests for the virus are now available and these have essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health,
Their discovery also allowed the rapid 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.
As per the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, over 70 million cases of hepatitis worldwide result in 4,00,000 deaths each year.
Harvey J. Alter was born in 1935 in New York and carried out his prize-winning studies at the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.
Charles M. Rice was born in 1952 in Sacramento, California. He worked on hepatitis at the Washington University in St. Louis and now works at Rockefeller University in New York.
Michael Houghton was born in Britain in 1950 and studied at the Chiron Corporation in California before moving to the University of Alberta in Canada.
Monday’s Noble Prize for medicine is the first of six prizes being announced. The one week (5th October to 12th October) prize-awarding includes outstanding work in the fields of Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace and Economics.