Nobel Prize in medicine awarded to trio for work on hepatitis C

Two Americans and a British scientist have been awarded the Nobel prize in medicine for their groundbreaking work on blood-borne hepatitis, a health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer around the world.

Harvey J Alter at the US National Institutes of Health in Maryland, Charles M Rice from Rockefeller University in New York, and Michael Houghton, a British virologist at the University of Alberta in Canada, discovered the hepatitis C virus, a major cause of liver inflammation.

The three researchers share the 10m Swedish kronor award (£870,000) that was announced on Monday by the Nobel assembly from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 70 million people are infected with hepatitis C, with 400,000 dying each year from related conditions such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Niklas Elmehed. © Nobel Media

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