Blumberg, Baruch Samuel

Blumberg, Baruch Samuel,

1925–2011, American biochemist and medical anthropologist, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., B.S. Union College, Schenectady, N.Y., 1946, M.D. Columbia, 1951, Ph.D. Oxford, 1957. From 1957 to 1964 he worked at the National Institutes of Health. From 1964 he was associated with the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, and was a professor at the Univ. of Pennsylvania, where he was university professor after 1977. In 1976 he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with D. Carleton GajdusekGajdusek, Daniel Carleton
, 1923–2008, American virologist, b. Yonkers, N.Y., grad. Univ. of Rochester; M.D. Harvard, 1945. He worked in the United States, Iran, Australia, and Pacific Islands studying infectious diseases, especially prion diseases and, in particular,
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. Blumberg won his share for his discovery of an antigen in the blood of an Australian aborigine that contributed to the development of a vaccine against hepatitishepatitis
, inflammation of the liver. There are many types of hepatitis. Causes include viruses, toxic chemicals, alcohol consumption, parasites and bacteria, and certain drugs.
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 B. He later was master (1989–94) of Balliol College, Oxford, and founding director (1999–2002) of NASA's Astrobiology Institute.


See his Hepatitis B: The Hunt for a Killer Virus (2002).

Blumberg, Baruch Samuel


Born July 28, 1925, in New York. American physician.

Blumberg graduated from Union College in Schenectady in 1946 and received his M.D. from Columbia University in 1951. From 1957 to 1964 he was head of the geographic medicine and genetics section at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. In 1964 he was appointed director of clinical research at the Institute of Cancer Research in Philadelphia; in 1970 he became a professor of medicine and medical genetics at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1964, Blumberg discovered the Australia antigen in human blood serum. The antigen plays an important role in the development of serum hepatitis; its discovery made possible a reduction in the incidence of serum hepatitis through laboratory techniques for screening the blood received from donors.

Blumberg received a Nobel Prize in 1976.