Charles M. Rice awarded the 2020 Nobel Prizein Physiology or Medicine

Charles M. Rice, member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Cluster of Excellence RESIST, receives the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine – together with Harvey J. Alter and Michael Houghton. This was announced by the Nobel Prize Committee on 5th of October 2020 at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.
The three researchers are being honoured for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus. They have found the cause of chronic hepatitis cases and made blood tests and new drugs available, which have saved millions of lives – the committee explained the award.

Charles M. Rice of the US Center for the Study of Hepatitis C, the Rockefeller University, New York, is one of the leading experts in the fields of infection and immunity of the RESIST Scientific Advisory Board. This board supports the Research Management Board of RESIST in questions of research strategy.

The hepatitis C virus is transmitted via the blood, can cause chronic liver inflammation (hepatitis) and liver cancer, and is a common cause of liver transplants. Around 71 million people worldwide have chronic hepatitis infections. Antiviral drugs can cure most people, but the expensive drugs are not available everywhere in the world, and successful treatment does not protect against re-infection, which is particularly easy in populations with frequent exposure to the virus.

Studies suggest that global control of this disease is only possible by a combination of antiviral treatment and prophylactic vaccination. This is why the team of the RESIST project B10 is focusing on vaccination as a protection against Hepatitis C. The aim of this team is to identify particularly efficient immune responses and contribute to the development of a new vaccine.

Foto: © Rockefeller University

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