CIHR-funded researcher wins Nobel Prize
Message from the President

October 5, 2020

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) would like to commend Dr. Michael Houghton on being jointly awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Dr. Houghton and fellow laureates Dr. Harvey Alter and Dr. Charles Rice received the award for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus.

Dr. Houghton holds the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Virology at the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology (University of Alberta), where he and his team conduct research on viral hepatitis and other inflammatory diseases. Along with co-investigators Dr. Qui-Lim Choo and Dr. George Kuo (Chiron Corporation), Dr. Houghton discovered the hepatitis C virus and  developed tests enabling the detection of hepatitis C in blood samples. His subsequent research has led to the development of a vaccine for hepatitis C. As a foundational set of discoveries that fundamentally altered the detection and management of such a devastating pathogen, one cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the Nobel Prize.

On behalf of all of us at CIHR, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Houghton, his fellow laureates, and all their team members for this momentous achievement.

Michael J. Strong, MD, FRCP, FCAHS, FAAN
President, CIHR

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