OIDP Congratulates 2020 Nobel Laureates Who Discovered Hepatitis C Virus

Content From: Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy, U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesPublished: October 07, 20202 min read


Cross-posted from Viral Hepatitis Blog, U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services

Photo of  a hand with a syringe taking blood from a patient's arm with the words, "Hepatitis C"
Credit: HHS

Three scientists, including an NIH medical researcher, were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in MedicineExit Disclaimer for their work identifying the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Their discovery of the virus allowed development of diagnostic tests to identify the virus in blood and safe and effective treatments that can cure hepatitis C in one course of treatment. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is part of a set of international awards that recognize groundbreaking academic, cultural, or scientific advances.

The HHS Office of Infectious Disease and HIV/AIDS Policy (OIDP) congratulates this year’s winners: Harvey J. Alter, M.D., Senior Scholar at the NIH Clinical Center’s Department of Transfusion Medicine; Michael Houghton, Ph.D., Canada Excellence Research Chair in Virology and the Li Ka Shing professor of virology at the University of Alberta; and Charles M. Rice, Ph.D., professor at Rockefeller University in New York and former scientific and executive director at the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C.

Eliminating Hepatitis C by 2030

The discovery of the hepatitis C virus and subsequent diagnostic and treatment tools allows the United States to make progress towards hepatitis C elimination. OIDP leads development across the federal government of the next Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan, a framework for the nation to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.  The draft Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan: A Roadmap to Elimination (2021-2025) (PDF, 1 MB) is currently open for public comments.  See the Federal Register for information on how to submit your comments, which are due to HepatitisPlanComments@hhs.gov no later than 5:00 pm ET on October 8, 2020, to be considered.