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Two Americans, British scientist win Nobel for medicine for work on hepatitis C virus

The hepatitis C virus is a major source of liver disease that affects millions worldwide

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Nobel prize
2020 Noble Prize winners for medicine winners Harvey Alter, Michael Houghton, Charles Rice
(JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images)
Updated: October 5, 2020 - 8:22am

Two U.S. scientists and a British-born scientist on Monday were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus, a major source of liver disease.

Their work dates back to the 1970s and 1980s and has helped saved millions of lives, the committee said.

The U.S. scientists are Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice, and the British scientist is Michael Houghton 

Alter conducted his prize-winning studies at the U.S. National Institutes of Health in suburban Maryland, according to the Associated Press.

Rice worked on hepatitis at the Washington University, in St. Louis, and now works at Rockefeller University in New York.

Houghton did his prize-winning work at the Chiron Corporation in California before going to the University of Alberta in Canada.

The Nobel Committee, in announcing the prize in Stockholm, noted that the trio’s work helped explain a major source of blood-borne hepatitis that couldn’t be explained by the previously discovered hepatitis A and B viruses, said the committee, according to the wire service.