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Fox Chase Cancer Center Nobel Laureate Baruch S. Blumberg Receives "Founders Award" From Hepatitis B Foundation at Annual Recognition Gala

PHILADELPHIA (September 1, 2001) -- Baruch S. Blumberg, M.D., Ph.D., senior advisor to the president at Fox Chase Cancer Center was awarded the Founders Award from the Hepatitis B Foundation for his significant contributions towards advancing the cause and cure of hepatitis B. He received the honor on April 21 at the Foundation's 10 Anniversary Crystal Ball Celebration, at the Doylestown Country Club in Doylestown, PA.

Blumberg and his colleagues discovered the hepatitis B virus in 1967, and soon after developed the first blood test. Blumberg and Irving Millman, Ph.D., invented the first hepatitis B vaccine in 1969. Blumberg won the 1976 Nobel Prize in medicine for this work. Since then, he has provided major insights into the development and prevention of the hepatitis B infection and the fatal liver diseases associated with it.

In Blumberg's award letter from Joan M. Block, R.N., president of the Hepatitis B Foundation, she says, "We are very proud to honor you for a lifetime of outstanding scientific research and for your major role in inspiring us to start the Foundation!" The Hepatitis B Foundation is a nonprofit volunteer organization, based in Doylestown, PA. The Foundation is dedicated to finding a cure for chronic hepatitis B (www.hepb.org).

Blumberg remains at Fox Chase Cancer Center as a senior advisor, and was recently appointed senior advisor to the administrator for biology at NASA, headquartered in Washington, DC. He is also the director of the Astrobiology Institute, which is located at the Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California.

Born in New York City in 1925, Blumberg earned his B.S. in physics at Union College in Schenectady in 1946 and for a year did graduate work in mathematics at Columbia University. He received his M.D. from Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1951.

As a medical student, he spent one summer at a mining company hospital in Surinam, South America, where he got his first taste of clinical research. Later, as an intern and assistant resident at New York City's Bellevue Hospital, he experienced all the demands of patient care under crowded urban conditions. After a clinical fellowship at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, he went to England to earn his doctoral degree at Oxford's Balliol College.

In 1957 he returned to the United States to join the National Institutes of Health and headed its Geographic Medicine and Genetics Section until 1964, when he became associate director for clinical research at Fox Chase and a senior member of its scientific staff. From 1986 to 1989 he was Center vice president for population oncology. Before becoming head of Balliol, he held numerous other academic positions over the years, including University Professor of Medicine and Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania from 1977 to the present.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's first comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1974, conducts basic and clinical research; programs of prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach. For more information about Fox Chase activities, visit the Center's web site at www.fccc.edu.


Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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