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12 november 2007
On 17 December 2007, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences will present the M.W. Beijerinck Virology Prize 2007 to Professor Charles M. Rice.
Charles Rice will receive the prize of EUR 34,000 for his work in the field of Virology, in particular for his research on flaviviruses, including Hepatitis C virus (HCV). His work has contributed to the development of antiviral medicines and vaccines against Hepatitis C virus. Professor Rice is Head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease and Scientific and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C at Rockefeller University in New York.
Charles M. Rice (born 1952) is one of the world's most renowned virologists. His research focuses on the replication and pathogenic capacity of RNA viruses in animal models. He has performed brilliant pioneering work on alphaviruses, which are transmitted in nature by insects. For a number of these viruses, including the Sindbis virus, he has unravelled the mechanism that regulates replication and transcription. However, he is known primarily as an expert on flaviviruses, having demonstrated that the flaviviruses are a separate family from the alphaviruses. He has also elucidated the organisation, expression and functions of the viral proteins of HCV. Moreover, Charles Rice produced the first infectious molecular clone of HCV, with which he demonstrated the genetic sequences involved in a Hepatitis C infection. Since 2003, Charles Rice is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Virology and the Journal of Experimental Medicine. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States since 2005.
The Royal Netherlands Academy set up the M.W. Beijerinck Virology Fund in 1965, in memory of the virologist Martinus Willem Beijerinck (1851-1931). The prize is awarded every three years. Previous recipients have included Robin Weiss (2001) and David Baulcombe (2004).
The ceremony will take place on Monday 17 December 2007 at 4 p.m. in the Trippenhuis, the Academy's premises. Professor Kees Melief, chairman of the jury and Professor of Immunology at Leiden University Medical Centre, will deliver the laudation. Charles Rice will give a lecture entitled 'Hepatitis C: the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?'.