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Harvey J. Alter, M.D.

Dr. Alter won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contributions to the discovery of the hepatitis C virus. His career at National Institutes of Health (NIH) has spanned more than 50 years where he focused his research on the occurrence of hepatitis in patients who had received blood transfusions. Dr. Alter had focused on viral hepatitis even before his work on hepatitis C. In the 1960s, he co-discovered the Australia antigen, which was later named the hepatitis B virus. Later, he spearheaded a project at the NIH Clinical Center that created a storehouse of blood samples used to uncover the causes and reduce the risk of transfusion-associated hepatitis. In 2000, Alter was awarded the prestigious Clinical Lasker Award. In 2002, he became the first NIH Clinical Center scientist elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and in that same year he was elected to the Institute of Medicine. In 2013, Dr. Alter was honored with the distinguished Canada Gairdner International Award.  Dr. Alter is the former Chief of the infectious disease section and Associate Director for research of the NIH Department of Transfusion Medicine where he now currently serves as Senior Scholar.

Stanley A. Plotkin, M.D. 

Dr. Plotkin is Emeritus Professor of the University of Pennsylvania. Until 1991, he was Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Professor of Virology at the Wistar Institute and at the same time, Director of Infectious Diseases and Senior Physician at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. For seven years he was Medical and Scientific Director of Sanofi Pasteur, based at Marnes-la-Coquette, outside Paris. He is now consultant to vaccine manufacturers and nonprofit research organizations. Dr. Plotkin is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and the French Academy of Medicine. He is the Founder and a Fellow of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.  He is also a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, of the International Society for Vaccines, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.  He has written over 800 articles and served as editor of several books including a textbook on vaccines. Dr. Plotkin developed the rubella vaccine now in standard use throughout the world, is codeveloper of the pentavalent rotavirus vaccine, and has worked extensively on the development and application of other vaccines including anthrax, oral polio, rabies, varicella, and cytomegalovirus.

Margaret Chou, Ph.D.

Dr. Chou is an Associate Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine  and Associate Professor at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is focused on research to understand the mechanisms underlying malignant transformation. Her work is aimed at identifying the signaling pathways that play pivotal roles the progression of a normal cell into a cancerous one. Most recently, she has focused on elucidating critical pathogenic factors in the development of bone and soft tissue tumors and found that the TRE17/USP6 oncogene acts as a crucial pathogenic agent across a number of these cancers. Dr. Chou is co-inventor of USP6 mRNA cancer therapeutic technology being developed by MERNA.