“Baruch Blumberg: Over achiever!”

It is fitting that the person credited with discovering Hepatitis B, developing a diagnostic test for Hepatitis B and developing the Hepatitis B vaccine, should have the initials BB.


In 1964, he discovered a surface antigen for hepatitis B in the blood of an indiginous Australian. This is why it was initially called the “Australian Antigen”. In the years that followed his team developed both a diagnostic test and a vaccine for Hepatitis B.

He was also involved with identifying prions as the infectious agent of kuru.

He received the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1976. (shared with D. Carleton)

He died in 2011, aged 85, collapsing shortly after giving a presentation to NASA scientists.

It is thought that through his work on Hepatitis B, he has prevented more deaths from cancer than any other human….

Over-achiever indeed. It is not impossible that in the course of history, his name will become as prominent in the world of microbiology as those of Pasteur and Koch….

For more on Baruch Blumberg, click here for a short biography.


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