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Hepatitis B Foundation Announces 2020 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize Winner

Dr. John Taylor of Fox Chase Cancer Center Recognized for His Contributions to the Science of  Hepatitis B and D

DOYLESTOWN, PA (November 18, 2019) The Hepatitis B Foundation has named John Taylor, PhD, the recipient of its 2020 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize for excellence in hepatitis B research.  Dr. Taylor is a Professor Emeritus at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. Dr. Taylor will receive the award at the Hepatitis B Foundation’s annual Crystal Ball Gala planned April 24, 2020 at The Warrington in Warrington, PA.

The Baruch S. Blumberg Prize is the Hepatitis B Foundation’s highest honor, given to publicly recognize and appreciate the outstanding contributions made by an individual to significantly advance the science and medicine of hepatitis B.  It has been considered to be the “Nobel Prize” for hepatitis B research and is named for Baruch S. Blumberg, who received the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus. Dr. Blumberg, who passed away in 2013, was a co-founder of the Hepatitis B Foundation.

Dr. Taylor is being recognized for his significant contributions to the understanding of the hepatitis delta virus. Hepatitis delta (also called hepatitis D) is the most severe form of viral hepatitis, and only affects people who also are infected with the hepatitis B virus.

“Dr. Taylor’s work on hepatitis delta virus molecular virology at Fox Chase Cancer Center provided critical insights about the hepatitis D virus,” said Timothy Block, PhD, president of the Hepatitis B Foundation and its Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. “His work, with colleagues, has consistently been the definitive gold standard for our understanding of the virus, and has opened the door for appreciation of the surprising biology of virology, overall and development of new medicines to treat the infection.”

Dr. Taylor’s work at Fox Chase Cancer Center focused on the hepatitis delta virus as well as hepatitis B. Professor Taylor's investigations led to discovery of the hepatitis delta virus’ basic chromosomal structure, through determination of the role of delta antigen in HDV replication, and the role of enzymatic functions and modifications of the delta mRNA in polypeptide expression. He earned his PhD from the University of Toronto, Canada.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation: The Hepatitis B Foundation is the nation’s leading nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. To learn more, go to www.hepb.org, read our blog at http://hepb.org/blog, follow us on Twitter @HepBFoundation, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hepbfoundation or call 215-489-4900.