Christoph Seeger Receives Hepatitis B Foundation’s 2019 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize

PHILADELPHIA (April 22, 2019) – Christoph Seeger, PhD, professor and senior scientist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, is the recipient of the Hepatitis B Foundation’s 2019 Baruch S. Blumberg Prize for excellence in hepatitis B research. He will receive the award at the Foundation’s annual Crystal Ball Gala on April 26, 2019.

“Dr. Seeger’s outstanding contributions to hepatitis B molecular biology have had implications not only for hepatitis B, but for all viruses,” said Timothy Block, PhD, president of the Hepatitis B Foundation and its Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. “We are proud to recognize the impact of his work in hepatitis B research.”

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 is named for Baruch S. Blumberg, who received the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the hepatitis B virus and development of a preventive vaccine, and who was instrumental to the work of the Hepatitis B Foundation. Blumberg’s remarkable career included 25 years at Fox Chase.

Seeger’s work has focused on the biology of human pathogenic viruses with an emphasis on HBV, and has led to the identification of the signals required for reverse transcription of viral DNA and provided the basis for the current model for HBV replication. The goal of his current research is to investigate a novel approach to inactivate covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA, the basis for the persistence of HBV in chronic carriers. The ultimate goal of these investigations is to improve current antiviral therapies that lead to a cure for chronic HBV infections. Seeger’s laboratory has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health during the past 30 years. He recently received a new grant from the National Institutes of Health to support this work.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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