Join us Oct. 17 for a Fireside Chat with Jim Greenwood, senior policy advisor, DLA Piper, former U.S. Congressman & CEO of BIO plus Ron Philip, CEO, Spark Therapeutics & John Crowley, CEO, Amicus Therapeutics! <<Register here>>

Beyond Blumberg

Screen Shot 2020 06 02 at 12.42.05 PM

 Beyond Blumberg: Summer 2020



Meet your featured Alumni Council members

We would like to introduce two of your inaugural Alumni Council members. These alumni will be working closely with Hepatitis B Foundation and Blumberg Institute staff to help grow the Blumberg Alumni Association and work on communication and planning events. If anyone is interested in joining the council, please contact Susanna McGrogan at We are asking council members to commit to a year-long term; meetings will be online or "virtual" and typically held every other month.

Richie Kahn

Richie Kahn

Health policy nerd by training; clinical researcher by trade; and patient advocate by necessity. For the last decade, Richie Kahn has been working to build awareness of clinical research as a care option and the need for advocating for what's best for individual patients. By day, he works to bring new drugs and devices to market. By night, he's a #glaucomaniac.

Swartz Bio Picture

Isabella Swartz

Isabella Swartz is a current high school senior at CB South who participated in the AP Chemistry Partnership Program in her junior year and the Biotechnology Research Practicum course in her senior year. In those two years, Isabella performed natural product screening and epigenetics research, earning recognition at the state level. Next year, Isabella will attend Princeton University in the class of 2024 and major in molecular biology. After college, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. followed by a career in research. Apart from research, Isabella is fluent in French, enjoys baking, and is a major foodie. 


Gala banner cropped 16April2020 v2


Thank you for helping make the Pajama Gala a major success!  


The April 24 Pajama Gala, which was our first virtual event, was a huge success! More than 250 people from around the world registered for the Gala and participants said they greatly enjoyed the hour-long online experience. Supporters pledged over $22,000 in response to a Mission Moment segment highlighting our work to help students battling discrimination.

Overall, the Pajama Gala raised more than $124,000 to support scientific research and the Foundation’s many programs to assist people living with hepatitis B, their families and their health care providers.

The Foundation honored two luminaries during the Gala. John M. Taylor, Ph.D., was presented with the Baruch S. Blumberg Award and Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, Esq., received the Community Commitment Award. Go to to watch a recording of the event.


Have a family member or friend in high school? Let them know about our new Virtual Summer Programs!


Blumberg Institute 2-Week Virtual Summer Enrichment Programs for Highschool Students.

Screen Shot 2020 06 02 at 1.24.48 PM

In this hybrid, online program for high school students wishing to advance their scientific knowledge and laboratory skills, set for July 13-24, students will spend 10-20 hours per week for two weeks on a series of lessons, discussions and actual experiments involving the real science being conducted at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute.

Students will receive their own laboratory instruments, such as pipettes, tips, plates and more, so they can perform experiments, in real time, in the safety of their own homes (actual biological materials will not be used). This fun, interactive experience will jump-start a student’s ability to accelerate her or his research once they enter a professional laboratory!

The entire virtual summer program will be curated, organized and run by faculty members of the Blumberg Institute, a world leader in hepatitis and virology research. The program will be led by Dr. John Kulp, Director of Academic Affairs.

Each week, students will have an at-home practicum incorporating a video recording and assessment of her or his experimental technique. The practicum will help develop the students’ laboratory skills, improving reliability of the experiments. Students also will be provided with professional development lessons on branding one’s professional identify to be competitive in acquiring internships and in the job marketplace.


To apply for the program, please send the following to The application deadline is June 24. 
  1. A current transcript.
  2. A short essay explaining your interest in science and "What Makes Science Interesting to Me.”
Questions? Please send a note to

Blumberg Institite Five-Week Virtual Science Summer Enrichment Program for Highschool Students 

Screen Shot 2020 05 22 at 12.22.20 PM

Two Sessions Available!

June 8-July 10 and July 13-August 14  

This virtual learning experience will focus on liver cancer and utilize a tumor suppressor gene as a model to interrogate human biology from a computational perspective. Weekly lectures and course content will be hosted on Harvard University's LabXchange platform. Students also will learn good lab notebook skills by adopting ELNs (electronic lab notebooks) through Benchling’s Cloud-Based Informatics Platform for Life Sciences. Students will create and execute a final project that applies the techniques and critical thinking skills developed throughout the course.


Week 1- Intro to computational biology & population genetics 

Week 2- Genomics, transcription & epigenetics 

Week 3- Translation, protein structure & cellular signaling 

Week 4- Machine learning & image analysis 

Week 5- Student-directed projects

 Screen Shot 2020 05 22 at 12.57.05 PM

To apply for the program, please send the following to

1. A current transcript.
2. A short essay explaining your interest in science and "What Makes Science Interesting to Me?"



Upcoming Virtual Events


June 2-4 p.m. EDT

Covid-19 response of the Blumberg Institute and PA Biotech Center. Register here.

June 9 - 12:30-4:30 p.m. EDT


You're Invited to Upcoming Virtual Seminars presented by the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center:

June 4 - 11 a.m. EDT Advance registration is required; online registration is here.

Mala Maini, M.D., University College, London

 "Immunobiology of Chronic Hepatitis B"

 Mala Maini is a professor of viral immunology in the division of infection and immunity at UCL, London and also works as a consultant physician in a viral hepatitis clinic. Her lab researches liver immunity and immunopathology, focusing on cellular interactions and metabolic constraints in the liver. Work from the Maini lab aims to contribute to the development of novel immunotherapeutic strategies for hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinoma.


June 18 - 11 a.m. EDT

Scott L. Friedman, M.D., Ichan School of Medicine, N.Y.C.

"Molecular Biology and Medicine of Liver Fibrosis"

Dr. is the Dean for Therapeutic Discovery and Chief of the Division of Liver Diseases, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He has performed pioneering research into the underlying causes of scarring, or fibrosis associated with chronic liver disease, affecting millions worldwide. Dr. Friedman was among the first to isolate and characterize the hepatic stellate cell, the key cell type responsible for scar production in liver. His work has spawned an entire field that is now realizing its translational and therapeutic potential, with new anti-fibrotic therapies for liver disease reaching clinical trials.


June 30 - 11 a.m. EDT 

Marion Peters M.D., UCSF, Calif.

Bruce Witte Distinguished Lecture, "Precision Medicine for Chronic Hepatitis B  

As an alumnus/ae, we invite you to participate in our public health and scientific research seminar series, free of charge.These have typically been in person and we hope they will be again in the future. For now, those that don't live local have the unique opportunity to participate in these seminars virtually. If successful, hopefully we can continue to have a virtual component even when the in person events are able to start back up. Check back here for updates and links to these virtual seminars.


Commentary: “What happened to the cure?”


A common question among people living with hepatitis B and their families is, "What happened to the cure for hepatitis B?" You can find answers in a new commentary by Dr. Timothy Block, Foundation president and co-founder; Dr. Chari Cohen, senior vice president; and Maureen Kamischke, our director of International Engagement. Please read more here.


Congratulations to our 2020 Central Bucks AP Chemistry Students


We will soon be welcoming a new group of students into the Blumberg Alumni Association. In the mean time, check out the highlights of this year's AP Chemistry class.






David #justB Honest

Featured Storyteller: David

The #justB storytelling campaign aims to raise the profile of hepatitis B as an urgent public health priority and helps put a human face on this serious disease by sharing stories of real people living with or affected by hepatitis B. The goals of the campaign are to increase awareness and advocacy; decrease stigma and discrimination; and promote testing, vaccination, linkage to care, and treatment to help save lives. The #justB storytelling campaign is a program of the Hepatitis B Foundation in collaboration with StoryCenter and AAPCHO.



Keep in touch! 
Don't Forget to email us your updates