Por Yuliya Talmazan – NBC News
Researchers Harvey Alter, Charles Rice, and Michael Houghton have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery of hepatitis C virus, as announced on Monday by the committee that awards the prestigious award.
Alter and Rice were born in the United States, while Hougton was born in the United Kingdom.
The committee said its discoveries “revealed the cause of the remaining chronic hepatitis cases and made possible blood tests and new drugs that have saved millions of lives.”
“For the first time in history, the hepatitis C virus now it can be cured“the committee added when announcing the decision.
The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and a cash award of SEK 10 million (over $ 1,118,000), courtesy of a legacy left 124 years ago by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.
The Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was awarded 110 times to 219 laureates between 1901 and 2019.
Two Americans and a Briton won the medicine award last year for their discoveries about how cells perceive and adapt to the availability of oxygen.
This year, the medicine award is of particular importance amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has highlighted the importance of medical research.
Due to this contingency, this year’s Nobel Prize winners they will miss an elegant gala in Stockholm surrounded by royalty and celebrities from Sweden, but the Nobel Foundation was determined to see the awards go ahead. Many of the traditional celebrations were postponed or rearranged as digital events.
The Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry, literature, peace and economics will also be announced throughout this week.