Hepatitis B Foundation Marks 50th Anniversary of HBV Discovery at its Crystal Ball Gala

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Annual event raises $110,000 for research and outreach to eliminate hepatitis B that affects more than 12 million Americans and 2 billion people worldwide.

Dr. Eugene Schiff (center) receives the 2015 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize and celebrates with the Hepatitis B Foundation Board and Mrs. Jean Blumberg (3rd from right)

The prizes awarded tonight demonstrate our recognition of and appreciation for the outstanding contributions Dr. Schiff and Drs. Bruce and Cyndie Maryanoff have made toward medicine and their respective communities.

The 2015 Crystal Ball, hosted by the Hepatitis B Foundation, raised $110,000 to benefit their global research, outreach and patient advocacy programs. The gala evening included dancing, a live and silent auction, and awards ceremony that attracted hundreds of supporters.

The 2015 gala was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) by Dr. Baruch S. Blumberg, who passed away in 2011. Dr. Blumberg received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of the virus in 1976. He and his colleagues also developed the blood test that is used to detect the virus and invented the first hepatitis B vaccine in 1969. Dr. Blumberg also was a co-founder of the Hepatitis B Foundation.

Dr. Eugene Schiff, Director of the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was awarded the 2015 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize, the highest scientific honor that the foundation confers, for his pioneering work in hepatitis B and its medical management. Dr. Timothy Block, president of the Blumberg Institute, presented the honor to Dr. Schiff along with Mrs. Jean Blumberg and her daughter, Anne Blumberg.

Joel Rosen, managing partner of High Schwartz LLP and chairman of the board of the Hepatitis B Foundation also presented the 2015 Community Commitment Award to Drs. Bruce and Cyndie Maryanoff, of the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. The Maryanoffs, who live in New Hope, Pa., are distinguished scientists who have provided dedicated service to the scientific community and generous support to their local community.

“The prizes awarded tonight demonstrate our recognition of and appreciation for the outstanding contributions Dr. Schiff and Drs. Bruce and Cyndie Maryanoff have made toward medicine and their respective communities,” Block said. “On behalf of the Hepatitis B Foundation, I’d like to thank our honorees and guests for helping us further our mission of developing therapies to combat hepatitis B and improve the lives of those affected worldwide.”

Hundreds of leaders from the community, academic institutions, government, health care and biotech industries helped the foundation honor Dr. Eugene Schiff at the “Paper Lantern Festival,” which was emceed by Mr. Patrick Walsh of The Walsh Group and held at the Warrington Country Club in Warrington, Pa., on April 17. The Hepatitis B Foundation’s Annual Crystal Ball Gala would not have been possible without the generous support of Presenting Sponsor Univest Bank; Platinum Sponsors Gilead Sciences, and Tekmira Pharmaceuticals, which recently merged with OnCore Biopharma; Diamond Sponsors ContraVir and Arrowhead Research Corporation; Emerald Sponsors Allure West Studios, deArt Folio, Furia Rubel Communications, High Swartz LLP, and Fulton Bank; and Media Sponsor Bucks County Herald.

Photo caption:

Photo should be credited to: Natalie and Jung Wi, Allure West Studios

Dr. Eugene Schiff (center) receives the 2015 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize and celebrates with the Hepatitis B Foundation Board and Mrs. Jean Blumberg (3rd from right).

About the Hepatitis B Foundation: Headquartered in Doylestown, Pa., the Hepatitis B Foundation was founded in 1991 and 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, visit hepb.org.

About the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute: The Hepatitis B Foundation established an independent, nonprofit research institute in 2003 in order to conduct discovery research and nurture translational biotechnology in an environment conducive to interaction, collaboration and focus. The research center was renamed in 2013 to honor Baruch S. Blumberg, the man who won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus. To learn more, visit http://www.blumberginstitute.org.

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