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Baruch S. Blumberg

Baruch S. BlumbergAKA Baruch Samuel Blumberg

Born: 28-Jul-1925
Birthplace: New York City
Died: 5-Apr-2011
Location of death: Moffett Field, CA
Cause of death: Heart Failure

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Scientist, Doctor, Anthropologist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Hepatitis B vaccine

Military service: US Navy (1943-45)

Baruch S. "Barry" Blumberg was awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize in Medicine, shared with D. Carleton Gajdusek, for their separate research into infectious viral diseases. In 1963, in his most famous discovery, he identified the virus that causes Hepatitis B, a frequently fatal disease often transmitted through blood transfusions. He found an antigen for the disease in the blood of Australian aborigines, which led to the development of a safe and effective vaccine. Upon winning his Nobel honors, Blumberg told the New York Times, "I'm especially pleased that someone from Philadelphia won. It's appropriate in the bicentennial year and makes up in part for the Phillies not making it to the World Series."

In high school he won a science fair by constructing a working refrigerator from junk parts. He served in the U.S. Navy, going straight from high school to World War II, and later worked as a merchant seaman and ship's doctor. During his medical internship he worked under Nobel laureates Dickinson W. Richards and André F. Cournand, and he completed his PhD under Hans Krebs. In addition to his credentials as a physician and laboratory scientist, Blumberg was also a professor of anthropology, a past director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute, and served on the Board of Trustees for the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) program.

Father: Meyer Blumberg (attorney)
Mother: Ida Simonoff Blumberg
Wife: Jean Liebesman Blumberg (artist)
Daughter: Anne Blumberg (Medicaid manager)
Son: George Blumberg
Daughter: Jane Blumberg Thompson
Son: Noah Blumberg

    High School: Far Rockaway High School, Queens, NY (1943)
    University: BS Physics, Union College (1946)
    University: MS Mathematics, Columbia University (1947)
    Medical School: MD, Columbia University (1951)
    Scholar: Fellowship, Columbia University (1951-55)
    University: PhD Biochemistry, Oxford University (1957)
    Scholar: Geographic Medicine and Genetics, National Institutes of Health (1957-64)
    Scholar: Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia (1964-)
    Professor: Medicine, University of Pennsylvania (1977-)
    Professor: Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania (1977-)
    Administrator: Master, Balliol College, Oxford University (1989-94)

    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1976 (with D. Carleton Gajdusek)
    National Inventors Hall of Fame 1993
    NASA Director, Astrobiology Institute, Ames Research Center (1999-2002)
    National Academy of Sciences
    Jewish Ancestry

Author of books:
Australia Antigen and Hepatitis (1972)
Iron and Your Heart: The Newly Discovered Health Risks of Excess Iron, and How You Can Beat Them (1993, with Randall B. Lauffer)
Hepatitis B and the Prevention of Cancer of the Liver (2000)
Hepatitis B: The Hunt for a Killer Virus (2002)
Hepatitis B: The Virus, the Disease and the Vaccine (2003, with Toby K. Eisenstein and Irving Millman)


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