Founder & Executive Chairman, XPRIZE Foundation. Executive Founder and Director, Singularity University
2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awardee. Speaker Michael Houghton’s have led to the discovery of hepatitis C and the development of a treatment capable of curing a chronic viral infection. Organizations book Michael Houghton for his knowledge in hepatology and hepatitis.
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Science speaker Dr. Michael Houghton received the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine thanks to him discovering the HCV (hepatitis C) virus. He found the virus along with Dr. Harvey Alter.
His discovery of hepatitis C in 1989 with George Kuo and Qui-Lim Choo created a whole new area of viral hepatitis studies. Thanks to such discovery, enhanced hepatitis C treatment became possible. Blood safety was achieved so that such viral infection can now be treated in nearly all patients.
Their research led to new blood donation screening methods. Viruses almost entirely disappeared from the blood supply by the year 1992. Because of this, by 1996, there had been an 80% drop in the amount of recorded transmission per year. In 2010, speaker Michael Houghton joined the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta.
He became the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Virology. Creating an HCV virus vaccine in 2012 gave him, and his colleagues reason to be optimistic about the future. The virus can result in cirrhosis, liver cancer, and end-stage liver disease. Around 20 to 30% of those who contract hepatitis C would experience serious liver disease. This vaccine is currently in the last stages of pre-clinical testing.
The development of antiviral therapies is also due to the virus discovery. Such treatments can cure 95% of those who carry hepatitis C. For the first time in history, we can finally cure a chronic viral infection.
Houghton has lately taken the reins of an attempt to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. In addition, he had developed an effective vaccine against the SARS-CoV-1 virus in 2004, which was never used since the infection had vanished.
Along with his job as the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute’s director, Houghton also holds the Li Ka Shing Professor of Virology title. He is also the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology professor at the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
In this talk, the renowned medical researcher and speaker Michael Houghton will discuss his primary field of expertise, hepatology. Attendees will learn everything related to this lesser-known but vital area of medicine and all the advancements that have occurred over the last 50 years. As a key figure in many of these developments, there's no one better than Houghton to speak about them and the future that lies ahead.
In this fascinating lecture, Nobel Prize in Medicine winner Dr. Michael Houghton will discuss Hepatitis in all its variants A, B, C, D, and E. This disease, the research into which earned him the prestigious award, was largely unknown when he, Harvey Alter, and Charles Rice began their investigation 40 years ago. The talk will focus on the milestones that allowed them to advance in their research and the reasons why they chose to focus on the C variant of the viral disease.
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