This year's Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine has been awarded to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton, and Charles M. Rice for the discovery of the Hepatitis C virus.
"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 ... 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 Assembly at Karolinska Institutet said in a press release.
BREAKING NEWS:— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 5, 2020
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
This year's Nobel Prize in medicine is particularly significant amid the coronavirus pandemic as it highlights the importance of medical research for society and the economy.
Last year, the award was given to William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe, and Gregg L. Semenza for their research on the reaction of cells to oxygen availability.
Besides medicine, the Nobel Prize is also awarded for outstanding work in the fields of physics, chemistry, literature, peace, and economics.