Week of Nobel Prize announcement begins with drugs award for discovery of hepatitis C virus


Stockholm, October 5 

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded jointly to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice “for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus.”

A panel at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm announced the recipients. 

The medicine prize carries particular significance this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has highlighted the importance that medical research has for societies and economies around the world. 

Often the Nobel Assembly recognizes basic science that has laid the foundations for practical applications in common use today.

It is common for several scientists who worked in the same field to share the prize. Last year, British scientist Peter Ratcliffe and Americans William Kaelin and Gregg Semenza received the award for discovering details of how the body’s cells sense and react to low oxygen levels.

The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1,118,000), courtesy of a bequest left 124 years ago by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel. The amount was increased recently to adjust for inflation.

The other prizes are for outstanding work in the fields of physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics. —AP



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