Harvey J. Alter


Harvey J. Alter

© Nobel Prize Outreach. Photo: Joy Asico

Harvey J. Alter
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020

Born: 12 September 1935, New York, NY, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

Prize motivation: “for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus”

Prize share: 1/3


Hepatitis is a group of diseases that cause inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by different viruses that are transmitted through blood. In the 1970s, two types of hepatitis, A and B, had been identified. Studies of people who had received blood transfusions allowed Harvey Alter and his colleagues to demonstrate that a previously unknown contagion also transmitted hepatitis. They were also able to show that this contagion was a virus. The finding was an important step in developing blood tests and new medications that have saved millions of lives.

To cite this section
MLA style: Harvey J. Alter – Facts – 2020. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Sat. 3 Jun 2023. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2020/alter/facts/>

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