Hepatitis B Foundation gala observes 50th anniversary of virus's discovery

The Hepatitis B Foundation's 2015 Crystal Ball observed the 50th anniversary of the virus's discovery. | Courtesy of
The Hepatitis B Foundation recently hosted the 2015 Crystal Ball, which observed the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the hepatitis B virus.

The event included a live auction, a silent auction, dancing and an awards ceremony with a large crowd of supporters. The event raised $110,000 for outreach, research and patient-advocacy programs to eradicate hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B originally was discovered by Dr. Baruch Blumberg, who was honored with the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his achievements tied to the virus. In addition to the discovery, Blumberg created the blood test that is still used today to detect the virus, and he also created the first vaccine for hepatitis B. Blumberg established the Hepatitis B Foundation as a co-founder during his career. He died in 2011.

Award recipients at the ball included Dr. Eugen Schiff, director of the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Drs. Bruce and Cyndie Maryanoff, from the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute.

“The prizes awarded tonight demonstrate our recognition of and appreciation for the outstanding contributions Dr. Schiff and Drs. Bruce and Cyndie Maryanoff have made toward medicine and their respective communities,” Dr. Timothy Block, president of the Blumberg Institute, said. “On behalf of the Hepatitis B Foundation, I’d like to thank our honorees and guests for helping us further our mission of developing therapies to combat hepatitis B and improve the lives of those affected worldwide.”