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Baruch S. Blumberg Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Hepatitis B Research

Wenhui Li, PhD, National Institute of Biological Sciences in Beijing, China

Wenhui Li was born in Gansu province, China, in 1971. He attended the public elementary and high schools in the town of Yuzhong, Gansu and entered Lanzhou Medical College (now Medical School of Lanzhou University) in 1989, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Medical Sciences (with highest honor) in 1994. He continued his study in the Lanzhou Institute of Biological Studies from 1994 and received his master degree in Immunology in 1997. After worked in the same institute for one year as a research assistant, he went to Beijing and became a Ph.D. student in the Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998. In 2001 he was awarded the Ph.D. (with great honor) in pathogen biology.

During late 2001 to 2004 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow of molecular virology in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School. He was appointed as an instructor in the same department in 2004 and worked there for three more years. In late 2007, Wenhui Li joined the National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS), Beijing as an assistant investigator.

Wenhui Li’s research interest has been in the field of viral infection and host immunity, in particular the entry mechanisms of viruses. Working under Drs.Michael Farzan and Hyeryun Choe in Boston, in 2003, shortly after the outbreak of SARS-CoV, he discovered that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a cellular receptor for SARS-CoV. During the past five years, his lab at NIBS Beijing has mainly worked on viral entry of hepatitis B and D virus (HBV, HDV). Recently, his team successfully identified that a multiple transmembrane bile acids transporter (NTCP, sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide), predominantly expressed in liver, is a functional receptor for HBV and HDV.

li wenhui
li wenhui

Baruch S. Blumberg Prize for Outstanding Contributions to Hepatitis B Research

Wenhui Li, PhD, National Institute of Biological Sciences in Beijing, China

Wenhui Li was born in Gansu province, China, in 1971. He attended the public elementary and high schools in the town of Yuzhong, Gansu and entered Lanzhou Medical College (now Medical School of Lanzhou University) in 1989, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Medical Sciences (with highest honor) in 1994. He continued his study in the Lanzhou Institute of Biological Studies from 1994 and received his master degree in Immunology in 1997. After worked in the same institute for one year as a research assistant, he went to Beijing and became a Ph.D. student in the Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in 1998. In 2001 he was awarded the Ph.D. (with great honor) in pathogen biology.

During late 2001 to 2004 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow of molecular virology in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School. He was appointed as an instructor in the same department in 2004 and worked there for three more years. In late 2007, Wenhui Li joined the National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS), Beijing as an assistant investigator.

Wenhui Li’s research interest has been in the field of viral infection and host immunity, in particular the entry mechanisms of viruses. Working under Drs.Michael Farzan and Hyeryun Choe in Boston, in 2003, shortly after the outbreak of SARS-CoV, he discovered that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is a cellular receptor for SARS-CoV. During the past five years, his lab at NIBS Beijing has mainly worked on viral entry of hepatitis B and D virus (HBV, HDV). Recently, his team successfully identified that a multiple transmembrane bile acids transporter (NTCP, sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide), predominantly expressed in liver, is a functional receptor for HBV and HDV.

Community Commitment Award

Nadine Shiroma, Policy Advisor for The Hepatitis B Foundation

Nadine Shiroma grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and, with husband Dennis, daughter Erin, and sons Stuart and Scott, moved to Washington state in 1990. Nadine has also lived in New York City, Texas and Southern California. She retired from an administrative and systems development career in public sector higher education and, in later years, a private corporation, so she could more fully participate in progressive, community-based civic engagement and racial justice projects.

On learning in 2010 that a well-known professional healthcare school had accepted and then months later denied enrollment to a naturalized immigrant on the basis of the school’s interpretation of an outdated 1993 guideline published by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Nadine sought out and coordinated the resources and action to challenge the undisclosed policy and convince the school to adopt and publish a new HBV policy. Realizing that similar discriminatory policies and practices were occurring at other healthcare schools, she decided to work with national hepatitis B advocates to address discriminatory HBV policies nationally.

Now a volunteer policy advisor to the national Hepatitis B Foundation, Nadine has advocated since 2013 for the U.S. Dept. of Defense to reform its outdated HBV policies, which, like the disease itself disproportionately impacts foreign-born servicemembers. She also participates in initiatives to educate and make state and national policymakers aware of the resources required for coordinated action to eliminate HBV.

 

Community Commitment Award

Nadine Shiroma, Policy Advisor for The Hepatitis B Foundation

Nadine Shiroma grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii and, with husband Dennis, daughter Erin, and sons Stuart and Scott, moved to Washington state in 1990. Nadine has also lived in New York City, Texas and Southern California. She retired from an administrative and systems development career in public sector higher education and, in later years, a private corporation, so she could more fully participate in progressive, community-based civic engagement and racial justice projects.

On learning in 2010 that a well-known professional healthcare school had accepted and then months later denied enrollment to a naturalized immigrant on the basis of the school’s interpretation of an outdated 1993 guideline published by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Nadine sought out and coordinated the resources and action to challenge the undisclosed policy and convince the school to adopt and publish a new HBV policy. Realizing that similar discriminatory policies and practices were occurring at other healthcare schools, she decided to work with national hepatitis B advocates to address discriminatory HBV policies nationally.

Now a volunteer policy advisor to the national Hepatitis B Foundation, Nadine has advocated since 2013 for the U.S. Dept. of Defense to reform its outdated HBV policies, which, like the disease itself disproportionately impacts foreign-born servicemembers. She also participates in initiatives to educate and make state and national policymakers aware of the resources required for coordinated action to eliminate HBV.

Milestone Achievement Award

Carol & Edmund Blake Foundation for Their Generous Support

The Carol and Edmund Blake Foundation was created in 2015 to promote programs specializing and emphasizing research in the medical fields as well as educational and after school programs for communities in need. Through its grants, the foundation has helped many communities in need and many health-related non-profit organizations realize their goals and outcomes.

Eric Freedgood on behalf of the Carol & Edmund Blake Foundation

Eric began his professional career in 2003 after graduating with honors from Binghamton University. Upon graduating, he joined Ernst and Young (EY) where he audited and valued complex derivative instruments for large financial institutions, banks and funds. It was during this time he obtained his CPA license which he still holds today. After his time at EY he joined Pinnacle Associates, Ltd- a Registered Investment Advisor in 2006 as an associate portfolio manager. In 2009 Eric obtained his Chartered Financial Analyst designation which he currently maintains. Over the years at Pinnacle, Eric has introduced many new portfolio strategies to clients that address current market and client needs and circumstances. Eric has focused his efforts on helping high net worth clients as well as small and medium sized institutions achieve their growth, income and risk-defined goals. In 2011, Eric was asked to be a partner in the firm, which he gladly accepted. In 2020, given many of the new initiatives brought to Pinnacle over the years, Eric was asked to serve as the firm’s Chief Innovation Officer- a new roll he is very excited about to ensure discovery and implementation of new strategies, tools and ideas in the investment program.

Milestone Achievement Award

Carol & Edmund Blake Foundation for Their Generous Support

The Carol and Edmund Blake Foundation was created in 2015 to promote programs specializing and emphasizing research in the medical fields as well as educational and after school programs for communities in need. Through its grants, the foundation has helped many communities in need and many health-related non-profit organizations realize their goals and outcomes.

Eric Freedgood on behalf of the Carol & Edmund Blake Foundation

Eric began his professional career in 2003 after graduating with honors from Binghamton University. Upon graduating, he joined Ernst and Young (EY) where he audited and valued complex derivative instruments for large financial institutions, banks and funds. It was during this time he obtained his CPA license which he still holds today. After his time at EY he joined Pinnacle Associates, Ltd- a Registered Investment Advisor in 2006 as an associate portfolio manager. In 2009 Eric obtained his Chartered Financial Analyst designation which he currently maintains. Over the years at Pinnacle, Eric has introduced many new portfolio strategies to clients that address current market and client needs and circumstances. Eric has focused his efforts on helping high net worth clients as well as small and medium sized institutions achieve their growth, income and risk-defined goals. In 2011, Eric was asked to be a partner in the firm, which he gladly accepted. In 2020, given many of the new initiatives brought to Pinnacle over the years, Eric was asked to serve as the firm’s Chief Innovation Officer- a new roll he is very excited about to ensure discovery and implementation of new strategies, tools and ideas in the investment program.

Gala Speakers

We are pleased to announce this year's speakers and honorees. Each of these distinguished individuals dedicates themselves to our common pursuit of working to help promote the cause of Hepatitis B support and prevention. Their wealth of knowledge and experience is pivotal to our continued success in the fight for people suffering from this disease. We are grateful for their commitment and they are excited to share in this anniversary celebration.

Timothy M. Block, PhD

Timothy M. Block, PhD

President & Co-Founder, Hepatitis B Foundation and its research arm the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute

Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH

Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH

Senior Vice President, Hepatitis B Foundation

Jean Holmes, MBA

Jean Holmes, MBA

Vice President of Institutional Advancement

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