Hepatitis B Foundation’s Research Institute Renamed for Co-Founder and Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Baruch S. Blumberg
DOYLESTOWN, PA (October 7, 2013) – At a ceremony held at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center Building on Monday, October 7, the Hepatitis B Foundation’s research institute was officially renamed the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. The new name honors the scientific legacy of the Foundation’s Co-Founder, the late Dr. Baruch Blumberg who, in 1976, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus. Along with his colleagues, Dr. Blumberg discovered the virus in 1967, developed the blood test that is used to detect the virus, and invented the first hepatitis B vaccine in 1969.
Leaders from the community spoke and Mark Thompson, President and CEO of The New York Times Company, and son-in-law to Dr. Blumberg, presented the keynote speech during the ceremony. Jean Blumberg, widow of Dr. Blumberg along with many of her family members took part in the ribbon cutting.
Dr. Timothy Block, President of the Hepatitis B Foundation and Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center noted, “Dr. Blumberg believed that the elimination of hepatitis B was entirely possible in our lifetime and so do I. To honor him, the Hepatitis B Foundation is proud to rename its research center the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. This new name will continue to inspire our researchers to pursue the search for a cure.”
The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute gathers the largest concentration of nonprofit scientists working on the problem of hepatitis B and liver cancer in the U.S. and is at the forefront of drug discovery and early detection biomarkers for these two deadly diseases. Its focus is to continue the work of Dr. Blumberg who was committed to finding a cure and eliminating hepatitis B in our lifetime.
Hepatitis B is the most common serious liver infection and the primary cause of liver cancer worldwide. Two billion people have been infected with the hepatitis B virus (one out of three) and 400 million are chronically infected. Each year, 1 million people die prematurely from hepatitis B-related liver disease and liver cancer. In the U.S., an estimated 2 million Americans – one in 20, are chronically infected with hepatitis B.
About the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute: The Blumberg Institute is an independent nonprofit research facility established in 2003 by the Hepatitis B Foundation to conduct its discovery research and nurture translational biotechnology in an environment conducive to interaction, collaboration and focus. To learn more, visit www.BlumbergInstitute.org.
About the Hepatitis B Foundation: Headquartered in Doylestown, Pa., the Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. To learn more, go to www.hepb.org, read the blog at http://wp.hepb.org, follow the Foundation on Twitter @HepBFoundation and Facebook at www.facebook.com/hepbfoundation or call (215) 489-4900.