Michael Houghton (scientist)

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Michael Houghton
Michael Houghton.jpg
Fields Microbiology
Institutions University of Alberta
Chiron Corporation
Alma mater University of East Anglia (BSc)
King's College London (PhD)
Thesis RNA Polymerases and Transcription in the Chicken Oviduct (1977)
Known for Hepatitis C
Hepatitis D
Notable awards Robert Koch Prize 1993
Lasker Award 2000
Gairdner Foundation International Award 2013 (declined)
Michael Houghton, PhD

Michael Houghton is a British scientist, who along with Qui-Lim Choo, George Kuo and Daniel W Bradley, co-discovered Hepatitis C in 1989. He is currently Li Ka Shing Professor of Virology at the University of Alberta.[1]

After graduating with a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of East Anglia in 1972 and a PhD in Biochemistry from King's College London in 1977, Houghton joined G. D. Searle & Company before moving to Chiron Corporation in 1982.[2] It was at Chiron that Houghton together with colleagues Qui-Lim Choo and George Kuo, and D.W. Bradley from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first discovered Hepatitis C. He also discovered the Hepatitis D genome.[3]

He was awarded the Robert Koch Prize in 1993, and the Lasker Award in 2000. In 2013 he become the first person to decline the $100,000 Gairdner Foundation International Award stating "I felt that it would be unfair of me to accept this award without the inclusion of two colleagues, Dr. Qui-Lim Choo and Dr. George Kuo".[4][5]


  1. ^ "MMI Faculty - Michael Houghton, PhD". Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  2. ^ Liver Cirrhosis and Its Development - Google Books. books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-12. 
  3. ^ Wang, KS; Choo, QL; Weiner, AJ; Ou, JH; Najarian, RC; Thayer, RM; Mullenbach, GT; Denniston, KJ; Gerin, JL; Houghton, M (9 October 1986). "Structure, sequence and expression of the hepatitis delta (delta) viral genome". Nature 323 (6088): 508–14. doi:10.1038/323508a0. PMID 3762705. 
  4. ^ "World-renowned virologist named recipient of Gairdner Award". March 22, 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  5. ^ Boesveld, Sarah (20 March 2013). "Edmonton scientist turns down $100,000 ‘baby Nobel’ because it shut out colleagues". Retrieved 13 January 2014.