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NIH Eminent Scientist Profiles

Baruch S. "Barry" Blumberg (1925–2011)

Baruch Blumberg, M.D., is best known for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus, sharing the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for "discoveries concerning new mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases." Dr. Blumberg ultimately created a vaccine against hep B that would save millions of lives. He worked at the NIH from 1957 to 1964 and then left to lead the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, all the while remaining very close to his NIH colleagues. In what could be described as a second career, he became the founding director of NASA's Astrobiology Institute. Dr. Blumberg was elected to the National Academy of Science in 1975 and received the Canada Gairdner Award that same year.

The Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum has gathered the following growing list of resources concerning Dr. Blumberg:

Dr. Blumberg's Own Reflections
Interview for “Web of Stories,” 2009 (videos)
History of NASA Astrobiology Institute in Astrobiology, 2004
Astrobiology context in The Anatomical Record, 2002 (PDF, 38 kB)
Interview about Hepatitis B for Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2002 (PDF, 749 kB)
Scientific memoir in Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2002
Essay of ethics in science in Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapy, 1993 (PDF, 255 kB)
Autobiography for Nobel Prize, 1976 (PDF, 2.1 mB)
Banquet speech for Nobel Prize, 1976 (PDF, 204 kB)

Journal Publications
Biography by Carl B. Pilcher in Astrobiology, 2015
Biography by Marc A. Shampo and Robert A. Kyle in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 2003 (PDF, 32 kB)

Non-journal Publications
Blog post, Insights: Scholarly Work at the John W. Kluge Center, 2015 (PDF, 112 kB)
Obituary in Washington Post, 2011 (PDF, 300 kB)
Obituary in New York Times, 2011 (PDF, )
Obituary in website Astrobiology at NASA, 2011 (PDF, 138 kB)
Biography at Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, 2003 (PDF, 140 kB)
Article about Hepatitis B in Beyond Discovery, 2000 (PDF, 311 kB)


photo of Blumberg

Baruch Blumberg Nobel Foundation