Michael Houghton

2020 Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology or Medicine; Director, Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute

Speaker Fee Range: Please inquire for fees

Travels From: Canada

Michael Houghton is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. Please complete the form or contact one of our agents to inquire about the fees for virtual engagements. Please note: the fee range listed above is for in-person engagements.

Nobel Prize Speaker Michael Houghton
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    Michael Houghton

    2020 Nobel Prize Winner in Physiology or Medicine; Director, Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute

    Speaker Fee Range: Please inquire for fees

    Travels From: Canada

    Michael Houghton is available for virtual keynotes and webinars. Please complete the form or contact one of our agents to inquire about the fees for virtual engagements. Please note: the fee range listed above is for in-person engagements.

    Michael Houghton Speaker Biography

    Dr. Michael Houghton was awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine today in recognition of his discovery of the hepatitis C (HCV) virus together with Dr. Harvey Alter.

    His discovery with colleagues Qui-Lim Choo and George Kuo in 1989 opened a new field of viral hepatitis research that led to improved blood safety, and hepatitis C treatment to the point where the viral infection can now be cured in virtually all patients.

    New screening tests were developed for blood donations as a result of their discovery. By 1992, the virus was virtually eliminated from the blood supply. This, in turn, led to a reduction in annual reported transmission by more than 80 per cent by 1996.

    Houghton was recruited to the University of Alberta in 2010 as the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Virology in the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology. Two years later, he and his team created hope with the development of a vaccine for the virus that is known to cause cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease and liver cancer. About 20 to 30 per cent of people who suffer from hepatitis C develop severe liver disease. The vaccine is now in the late pre-clinical stage of testing.

    Based on the discovery of the virus, antiviral therapies have also been developed that will cure 95 per cent of hepatitis C carriers. This is the first chronic viral illness that can be cured.

    Houghton recently began leading an effort to produce a vaccine for COVID-19. He had also created a successful vaccine for the SARS-CoV-1 virus in 2004, but it was never needed because SARS disappeared.

    In addition to his role as director of the Li Ka Shing Applied Virology Institute, Houghton is the Li Ka Shing Professor of Virology, and a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

    Michael Houghton Keynote Topics

    Michael Houghton Speaking Videos

    Nobel Lecture: Michael Houghton, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2020
    Michael Houghton's convocation address