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.
Their work and discoveries range from paleogenomics and click chemistry to documenting war crimes.
See them all presented here.