北京时间 10 月 5 日下午，2020 年诺贝尔生理学或医学奖评选结果揭晓:
诺贝尔委员会宣布，将此奖项颁发给哈维阿尔特（Harvey j. Alter），迈克尔·霍顿（Micheal Houghton）、查尔斯·赖斯（Charles m. Rice），以表彰他们在发现丙型肝炎病毒方面作出的贡献。
20 世纪 80 年代初，丹尼尔 · 布拉德利从黑猩猩的血清中分离了后来称为“丙型肝炎病毒”的“非甲非乙型肝炎病毒”。霍顿得以与布拉德利协作克隆这些病毒，并开发了一种测验血液的方法，在 20 世纪 90 年代初用于肝硬化和肝癌患者。
1992 年，他与他的团队成员同获美国血库协会卡尔 · 兰德斯泰纳纪念奖。
1993 年，他与布拉德利获得了罗伯特 · 科赫奖。
他还获得了 1994 年美国胃肠病协会威廉 · 博蒙特奖。
TIPS / 知识卡片
University of Alberta virologist awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Michael Houghton discovered hepatitis C virus and now is developing a vaccine.
Michael Houghton was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine today in recognition of his discovery of the hepatitis C (HCV) virus.
His discovery with colleagues Qui-Lim Choo and George Kuo in 1989 opened a new field of viral hepatitis research that led to improved blood safety, and hepatitis C treatment to the point where the viral infection can now be cured in virtually all patients.
New screening tests were developed for blood donations as a result of their discovery. By 1992, the virus was virtually eliminated from the blood supply. This, in
turn, led to a reduction in annual reported transmission by more than 80 per cent by1996.
Houghton was recruited to the University of Alberta in 2010 as the Canada
Excellence Research Chair in Virology in the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology. Two years later, he and his team created hope with the development of a vaccine for the virus that is known to cause cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and liver cancer.
About 20 to 30 per cent of people who suffer from hepatitis C develop severe liver
disease. The vaccine is now in the late pre-clinical stage of testing.
Based on the discovery of the virus, antiviral therapies have also been developed that will cure 95 per cent of hepatitis C carriers. This is the first chronic viral illness that can be cured.
Houghton recently began leading an effort to produce a vaccine for COVID-19. He
had also created a successful vaccine for the SARS-CoV-1 virus in 2004, but it was
never needed because SARS disappeared.
“Michael Houghton’s achievement cannot be overstated,” said University of Alberta president Bill Flanagan. “Dr. Houghton has made this world a better place. As president of the University of Alberta, the institution where he has dedicated his time, I am thrilled that his work has been recognized in this way.”
“Today is a wonderful day for Dr. Houghton and the faculty,” said Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry dean Brenda Hemmelgarn. “Dr. Houghton has been an amazing colleague and powerful force since the first day he joined us, and we are immensely proud of him and his accomplishments.”
In addition to his role as director of the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute, Houghton is the Li Ka Shing Professor of Virology, and a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
The Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology was created through a gift of $25 million from the Li Ka Shing (Canada) Foundation, as well as a $52.5-million commitment from the Government of Alberta.
“This is a great day for Canada, the University of Alberta and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology,” said Lorne Tyrrell, director of the institute. “Canada’s only Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was won in 1923 by Frederick Banting and John Macleod. The second prize has come 97 years later—a long-awaited Nobel in medicine for a scientist at a Canadian university. I am extremely proud of Michael and his two colleagues, Harvey Alter and Charlie Rice.”