Randall N. Hyer, MD, PhD, MPH, former Moderna executive, named president of the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute
Doylestown, Pa. – The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute’s Board of Directors has appointed Randall N. Hyer, MD, PhD, MPH, former senior vice president for global medical affairs at Moderna Inc., to become the Institute’s next president, effective July 1.
Timothy M. Block, PhD, founding president of the Blumberg Institute, said: “Dr. Hyer’s background makes him perfectly suited for this position and I know he is a tremendous person and scientist. While it’s challenging, certainly, for me personally to hand over the reins, Randy brings a new passion and dedication to our mission that will build upon the momentum that exists in the Blumberg Institute.”
At Moderna, Dr. Hyer was key to the global approvals, launches and implementation of its COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in 2020, which has made a tremendous difference worldwide in combating the pandemic.
A soon-to-be Bucks County resident, Dr. Hyer has been a distinguished professor of experimental therapeutics at the Blumberg Institute and senior advisor to the Hepatitis B Foundation since last year.
Dr. Hyer is CEO of MERLIN Biotech, a startup company formed in April to commercialize technologies invented at the Blumberg Institute and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia that show promise as therapeutic mRNA for treatment of chronic hepatitis B and cancer.
Mr. Wayne Yetter, chair of the Blumberg Institute’s Board of Directors, said: “Dr. Hyer is an amazing individual with broad experience as a physician and research scientist. He brings the perspective of a leader in the pharmaceutical industry, where he helped launch a vaccine that’s very important to our mission.”
The Blumberg Institute is one of the nation’s leading centers for translational research in hepatitis B and liver cancer. It supports drug discovery, biomarker discovery and translational biotechnology around common research themes such as chronic hepatitis, liver disease and liver cancer in an environment conducive to collaboration and focus.
Along with its research mission, the Blumberg Institute is committed to training the next generation of scientists through a range of academic programs. The Institute has a partnership with Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine to offer a Master of Biomedical Sciences degree and hosts college undergraduate and high school students for summer internships. Numerous young scientists have conducted post-doctoral studies in Blumberg Institute labs and the Central Bucks School District runs a highly successful program for high-achieving science students at the Institute.
Prior to Moderna Inc., Dr. Hyer headed Clinical Development and Medical Affairs at Dynavax Inc., where he helped gain regulatory approval of HEPLISAV-B, a hepatitis B vaccine with a novel adjuvant, and the world’s first two-dose vaccine for hepatitis B. During the development of HEPLISAV-B, Dr. Hyer consulted with the Hepatitis B Foundation and Blumberg Institute.
“From my first interactions with Dr. Block and the organizations he founded, I’ve been extremely impressed with their scientific rigor and their dedication to finding cures and treatments for hepatitis B, liver cancer and associated diseases,” Dr. Hyer said. “The opportunity to serve as president of the Blumberg Institute is exciting and one I warmly and enthusiastically accept.”
Dr. Hyer earned his MD from Duke, trained at Walter Reed Hospital and received an MPH from Harvard. He also earned a PhD from the University of Oxford, researching the genetics of juvenile diabetes, where his studies won the NIH "Outstanding Research Award for Clinical Trainees.” Dr. Hyer graduated With Distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy. Please read more about Dr. Hyer here.
About the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute
An independent, nonprofit research organization, the Blumberg Institute was launched in 2003 by the Hepatitis B Foundation to advance its research mission. The Blumberg Institute is located in the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center, which it manages, just outside Doylestown, Pa. For more, go to www.blumberginstitute.org and follow us on social media, including Twitter @BlumbergInstit1.