FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dr. Timothy Block Honored with Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Humanitarian Award
DOYLESTOWN, PA (March 31, 2007) – The Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce has selected Bucks County scientist and community leader Dr. Timothy Block as its 2007 Lifetime Achievement Humanitarian Award recipient. As the co-founder and volunteer president of the Hepatitis B Foundation, Dr. Block has touched immeasurable lives locally, nationally and internationally. Through Dr. Block’s unparalleled devotion to helping others, individuals and families affected by hepatitis B now have access to resources, support and information that simply did not exist prior to the Foundation’s creation. The Foundation also offers hope to those suffering from this deadly liver disease in the form of a new $15 million research center located in Doylestown, Pa.
The Foundation’s story began in 1991 when Dr. Block, his wife Joan and their friends Paul and Janine Witte first became aware of the need for a charitable organization dedicated to hepatitis B sufferers. With the help of family and friends and the personal support of Dr. Baruch Blumberg, who won the Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus, the Blocks and Wittes established the Foundation. While its reach is global, its mission is simple: to help find a cure for hepatitis B and to help all those in need. The Foundation, located in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County, remains a beacon of hope for the hundreds of millions of people who suffer from chronic hepatitis B.
The Foundation’s first official home was the Jefferson Center for Biomedical Research, located on the campus of Delaware Valley College. This was the result of a unique partnership that Dr. Block forged between the Foundation, Jefferson Medical College and Delaware Valley College. In 2004, the Jefferson Center became the Drexel Institute for Biotechnology and Virology Research, of which Dr. Block still serves as director. Dr. Block joined the Drexel University College of Medicine as a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology that same year.
Most recently, Dr. Block and the Hepatitis B Foundation, in partnership with Delaware Valley College, spearheaded the creation of Bucks County’s first biotech center, the new Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County in Doylestown, Pa. The Center was built to expand the Foundation’s research capabilities and accelerate its research mission. The $15 million “PA Biotech Center” is a 62,000-square-foot renovated warehouse that opened its doors in September 2006.
For the past 15 years, Dr. Block has volunteered all of his time as the driving force behind the tremendous growth of the Hepatitis B Foundation, and now the PA Biotech Center. His vision of a world-class research organization rooted in human compassion has propelled the Foundation from a local grassroots effort into a professional organization with a global reach. As a renowned research scientist, Dr. Block has dedicated his formidable talents toward advancing the Foundation’s mission of finding a cure and helping to improve the lives of all those affected by hepatitis B through research, education and patient advocacy.
Hepatitis B is the world’s most common serious liver infection. It causes approximately one million deaths each year. An estimated two billion people worldwide – which translates into one out of every three individuals– have been infected with hepatitis B. A cure is desperately needed and it is Dr. Block’s mission to see that one is found through the work of the Hepatitis B Foundation.
Dr. Block is slated to receive the Chamber of Commerce’s Humanitarian Award on April 21 at 7 p.m. The award ceremony will be held at the Spring Mill Country Club in Warminster, Pa.
About the Hepatitis B Foundation
The Hepatitis B Foundation is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected with hepatitis B worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. It is located in the new Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County, which it created to accelerate its research mission. For more information, visit www.hepb.org or call 215.489.4900.