UR graduate awarded Nobel Prize for ‘landmark achievement’ in fight against Hepatitis

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — National Institutes of Health Medical Scientist and University of Rochester Graduate Harvey Alter has received a 2020 Nobel Prize for work that has led to diagnostic tests and treatments for a life-threatening form of Hepatitis.

MORE | 3 win Nobel Prize for Medicine for hepatitis C virus discovery

In recognizing Alter as one of three recipients for the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology, the Nobel committee cited the scientists “for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus.”

“Thanks to their discovery, highly sensitive blood tests for the virus are now available and these have essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health,” the committee noted.

Joining Alter, who received his BA from Rochester in 1956 and his MD degree in 1960, were British scientist Michael Houghton and Rockefeller University scientist Charles Rice.

“We are enormously proud that Harvey Alter has received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine,” University of Rochester President Sarah Mangelsdorf said in a statement. “Dr. Alter exemplifies Rochester’s long tradition of scientific research and discovery. His contributions to solving the global public health challenge of Hepatitis C are an example of Meliora in action—making the world ‘ever better.’ We are honored to count him among our most distinguished alumni.”

Alter is the 13th Rochester graduate or faculty member to receive a Nobel Prize.

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