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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hepatitis B Foundation Presents Distinguished Scientist Award 2008 to University of Michigan Professor at Annual Crystal Ball Gala
(Dr. Anna Lok Honored for Advancing the Science and Medicine of Hepatitis B)

DOYLESTOWN, PA (April 14, 2008) –The Hepatitis B Foundation held its annual Crystal Ball Gala on Saturday, April 12 at the Doylestown Country Club with more than 200 guests and community leaders attending the Foundation’s signature fundraising event. CBS 3 News Anchor Larry Mendte served as the celebrity host and Congressman Patrick Murphy kicked-off the evening by recognizing the Foundation’s important work and outreach.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Foundation’s “Distinguished Scientist Award 2008” to Anna Lok, M.D., Professor and Director of Clinical Hepatology, University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, MI. Dr. Lok was honored with the Foundation’s highest scientific award in recognition of her extraordinary contributions to advancing the science and medicine of hepatitis B.

“The Hepatitis B Foundation is proud to recognize the accomplishments and commitment of Dr. Anna Lok who has been a leader in the scholarship and practice of caring for people with chronic hepatitis B,” said Timothy M. Block, Ph.D., President of the Hepatitis B Foundation. “By the example of her dedication, compassion, relentlessness and effectiveness, Dr. Lok has provided hope and inspiration to patients and providers alike."

Dr. Lok is a world renowned hepatologist and one of the premier leaders in hepatitis B research. She has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the natural history of hepatitis B and the role of hepatitis B virus genotypes and variants in the outcome of chronic hepatitis B infection with more than 250 publications. She has made significant contributions to the management and treatment of hepatitis B as co-author of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Practice Guidelines on Management of Hepatitis B.

Dr. Block and Nobel Laureate Dr. Baruch Blumberg presented the award to Dr. Lok who shared how as a medical student she was told not to pursue hepatitis B because, “there’s a vaccine, so the problem will go away and then you’ll be out of work.” But this warning only strengthened her resolve and after 20 years of working on hepatitis B, she has learned that, “although there have been good advances in the prevention and treatment of hepatitis B, it has not yet been eliminated and so much more still needs to be done.” Gala guests were moved to give Dr. Lok a standing ovation as she left the podium.

The award acknowledgement was topped off by the presentation of a formal citation from the Pennsylvania Representatives Chris King and Marguerite Quinn in recognition of Dr. Lok’s significant contributions to hepatitis B research. Both House Representatives noted, “Hepatitis B crosses all political lines – it is a non-partisan disease that affects so many.”

Past recipients of the Foundation’s distinguished awards include Nobel Laureate Baruch S. Blumberg, who discovered the hepatitis B virus; National Academy of Sciences members Dr. Harvey Alter, Dr. Francis Chisari, and Dr. Jesse Summers; and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Major Gala sponsors included Gilead, Idenix, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Fox Rothschild LLP, Genesis Biotechnology, High Swartz LLP, Drexel University, Nucleonics, Univest, The Intelligencer, and Wilmington Trust. All proceeds raised through the Gala will help fund the Foundation’s research, education and advocacy programs. For more information about the Hepatitis B Foundation, the Gala and the distinguished honoree Dr. Anna Lok, visit www.hepb.org or call (215) 489-4900.

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. The Foundation is located in the new Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, which it created to expand and accelerate its research mission. For more information, visit www.hepb.org or call (215) 489-4900.

About Dr. Anna Lok
Dr. Lok is a world renowned hepatologist and one of the premier leaders in hepatitis B research. She has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the natural history of hepatitis B and the role of hepatitis B virus genotypes and variants in the outcome of chronic hepatitis B infection with more than 250 publications. She has made significant contributions to the management and treatment of hepatitis B as co-author of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases Practice Guidelines on Management of Hepatitis B.

Page last modified October 21, 2009

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