Baruch S. Blumberg: Nobel
Prize in Physiology or Medicine
by Seymour “Sy” Brody
Baruch S, Blumberg is an American Jewish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, in 1981, which he shared with Carleton Gajdusek for their discoveries concerning new mechanisms for the origin and dissemination of infectious diseases.
Blumberg was born in 1925, in New York City. He was the second of three children of Ida and Meyer Blumberg. His grandparents migrated to the United States from Europe at the end of the 19th century. He went to the Yeshiva (a Hebrew religious school) in the early part of his education.
When he graduated Far Rockaway High School, he joined the U.S. Navy in 1943. He was commissioned as a deck officer on landing ships and became a commanding officer prior to his discharge. He used the G.I. Bill of rights to obtain his B.S. in Physics at Union College, in upstate New York.
In 1946, he entered Columbia University. He started with mathematics as his major and then, in 1947, he enrolled in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Blumberg received his M.D. Degree in 1951. He was an intern and a resident at Bellevue Hospital, 1951-1953. Blumberg then went to the Balliol College at Oxford University, where he received his Ph.D. Degree in Biochemistry, in 1957.
Blumberg worked at the National Institutes of Health from 1957-164. He did research on polymorphism and their relation to disease. In 1964, he went to the Institute for Cancer Research to start a clinical research program.
He is currently a professor of Medicine at the University Pennsylvania and a Professor of Anthropology.
Blumberg and his wife Jean, who is an artist, have had four children: Anne, George, Jane and Noah. They live a few blocks away from Independence Hall, in Philadelphia.
Dr. Baruch Blumberg’s positions and awards:
• National Institutes of Health, 1957-1964
• Associate Director for Clinical research, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 1964-1989
• Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1976
• National Inventors Hall of Fame, 1993
• Master Balliol College, Oxford University, London, 1989-1994
• Director, NASA Astrobiology Institute, 1999-2002
• Senior Advisor to the Administrator of NASA, 2000-2001
• Distinguished Scientist at Fox Chase Cancer Center, 2000-to the present
• Member, SETI Institute Board of Trustees,
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