Baruch S Blumberg

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Blumberg, Baruch S. (Samuel)

(1925–  ) epidemiologist; born in New York City. He worked and performed research in New York City hospitals (1951–55), then became a biochemist at Oxford University (1955–57). He moved to the National Institutes of Health (1957–64), where he investigated protein variations in human populations from around the world. In 1963, while studying antibodies in the serum of multitransfused blood recipients, he discovered the "Australian" antigen, which proved to be associated with the hepatitis B virus. This finding led to hepatitis B screening programs by blood banks, and won Blumberg one-half the 1976 Nobel Prize for physiology. At the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia (1964) he developed a hepatitis B vaccine (1982) and presented evidence that this disease may lead to liver cancer. While continuing at the Fox Chase Center, he concurrently became a professor at the University of Pennsylvania (1977), clinical professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington: Seattle (1983–89) and Master at Balliol College, Oxford (1989).