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Explorer, Nobel Laureate, Astrobiologist: Things You Never Knew About Barry Blumberg

Presenter: Carl Pilcher, NASA Astrobiology Institute
When: September 20, 2011 2PM PDT

Baruch Samuel “Barry” Blumberg traveled to Earth¹s far reaches as a medical explorer and pioneer. Through perseverance in the face of skepticism, he made discoveries that saved hundreds of millions of lives. This remarkable career shaped his perspectives when, at age 72, he became the Founding Director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute. In this talk I will trace Barry¹s early years and describe how his studies of genetic variations in diverse and remote populations led to his serendipitous discovery of the Hepatitis B virus and subsequent development of a protective vaccine, for which he was awarded the 1976 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. I’ll relate these experiences to his views and actions as NAI Director.

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