Login

Lost your password?
Don't have an account? Sign Up

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

D. Lorne Tyrrell, MD, PhD, University of Alberta, Canada

Dr. Tyrrell is currently a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and the University of Alberta. His work for the hepatitis B community has been life-changing for people living with the disease and their loved ones. Dr. Tyrrell pioneered the basic science and clinical development of new therapeutics for chronic hepatitis B. Dr. Tyrrell’s initial studies with lamivudine and his role in the development of critical experimental systems have become essential to developing and understanding the biology and virology of the hepatitis B virus and development of new antivirals.

Dr. Tyrrell also played a key role in development of the KMT mouse which has been a major research asset to scientists working in hepatitis, particularly hepatitis B. He is the founding director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta. He has focused his research on viral hepatitis for more than 30 years. His efforts to develop an antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis B, which was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Glaxo Canada, led to the licensing of lamivudine, first oral antiviral agent to treat hepatitis B, in 1998.

In a fascinating coincidence that impacted Dr. Tyrrell’s career, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in 1976 when Dr. Blumberg was awarded the Nobel Prize. Not only did Dr. Tyrrell listen in-person to the Nobel lecture by Dr. Blumberg, he was able to attend the Nobel Prize award ceremony. That sparked his long-time research focus on hepatitis, particularly hepatitis B.

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta from 1994 to 2004, Dr. Tyrrell has received numerous prestigious awards such as an Officer of the Order of Canada, the Gold Medal of the Canadian Liver Foundation (2000), Fellow of the Royal Society (2004) and the EnCana Principal Award, Manning Innovation Awards (2005). He was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in April 2011 and received the Killam Prize in Health Sciences in May 2015.

Currently, Dr. Tyrrell serves on the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force advising the Canadian government on the selection of COVID-19 vaccines based on efficacy, safety and timely availability for Canada.

D. Lorne Tyrrell, MD, PhD,
D. Lorne Tyrrell, MD, PhD,

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

D. Lorne Tyrrell, MD, PhD, University of Alberta, Canada

Dr. Tyrrell is currently a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and the University of Alberta. His work for the hepatitis B community has been life-changing for people living with the disease and their loved ones. Dr. Tyrrell pioneered the basic science and clinical development of new therapeutics for chronic hepatitis B. Dr. Tyrrell’s initial studies with lamivudine and his role in the development of critical experimental systems have become essential to developing and understanding the biology and virology of the hepatitis B virus and development of new antivirals.

Dr. Tyrrell also played a key role in development of the KMT mouse which has been a major research asset to scientists working in hepatitis, particularly hepatitis B. He is the founding director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology at the University of Alberta. He has focused his research on viral hepatitis for more than 30 years. His efforts to develop an antiviral therapy for chronic hepatitis B, which was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Glaxo Canada, led to the licensing of lamivudine, first oral antiviral agent to treat hepatitis B, in 1998.

In a fascinating coincidence that impacted Dr. Tyrrell’s career, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm in 1976 when Dr. Blumberg was awarded the Nobel Prize. Not only did Dr. Tyrrell listen in-person to the Nobel lecture by Dr. Blumberg, he was able to attend the Nobel Prize award ceremony. That sparked his long-time research focus on hepatitis, particularly hepatitis B.

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta from 1994 to 2004, Dr. Tyrrell has received numerous prestigious awards such as an Officer of the Order of Canada, the Gold Medal of the Canadian Liver Foundation (2000), Fellow of the Royal Society (2004) and the EnCana Principal Award, Manning Innovation Awards (2005). He was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame in April 2011 and received the Killam Prize in Health Sciences in May 2015.

Currently, Dr. Tyrrell serves on the COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force advising the Canadian government on the selection of COVID-19 vaccines based on efficacy, safety and timely availability for Canada.

Community Commitment Award

Rev. Jason Crum Escalera, #JustB Storyteller

Rev. Jason Crum Escalera’s personal motto is, “Let me tell you something hep B: I have you; you don’t have me.”

Rev. Crum Escalera, describes himself as a “compassionate HIV and hepatitis B patient advocate.” He is one of our very compelling #justB storytellers and is always quick to share his experiences when it can help others. He is focused on saving lives by educating others who are infected to live healthier lives and educating those who are not infected about how they can protect themselves from hepatitis B and HIV. Rev. Crum Escalera works to educate young people, particularly high school students, about prevention and delivers testimonials of his own hopes and strength. He is well known in the hepatitis B and HIV advocacy communities and strives to be “a voice to the voiceless around the world.”

Rev. Crum Escalera was living in New York City and struggling with addiction when he was diagnosed with hepatitis B. Not long afterward, his mother passed away. Those two events pushed him into recovery from addiction, and he moved home to his native Kansas. However. he could not find a physician knowledgeable about treating hepatitis B. After a disastrous experience with one provider, Rev. Crum Escalera fell into depression and attempted suicide. Finally, he located a caring and knowledgeable doctor in St. Louis who gave him hope and effective medical care. Rev. Crum Escalera found strength in his most difficult time and now approaches others with a true understanding and deep empathy.

Rev. Crum Escalera credits his supportive husband, Donald for helping him overcome the many challenges he faced in recent years.

Rev. Jason Crum Escalera
Rev. Jason Crum Escalera

Community Commitment Award

Rev. Jason Crum Escalera, #JustB Storyteller

Rev. Jason Crum Escalera’s personal motto is, “Let me tell you something hep B: I have you; you don’t have me.”

Rev. Crum Escalera, describes himself as a “compassionate HIV and hepatitis B patient advocate.” He is one of our very compelling #justB storytellers and is always quick to share his experiences when it can help others. He is focused on saving lives by educating others who are infected to live healthier lives and educating those who are not infected about how they can protect themselves from hepatitis B and HIV. Rev. Crum Escalera works to educate young people, particularly high school students, about prevention and delivers testimonials of his own hopes and strength. He is well known in the hepatitis B and HIV advocacy communities and strives be “a voice to the voiceless around the world.”

Rev. Crum Escalera was living in New York City and struggling with addiction when he was diagnosed with hepatitis B. Not long afterward, his mother passed away. Those two events pushed him into recovery from addiction, and he moved home to his native Kansas. However. he could not find a physician knowledgeable about treating hepatitis B. After a disastrous experience with one provider, Rev. Crum Escalera fell into depression and attempted suicide. Finally, he located a caring and knowledgeable doctor in St. Louis who gave him hope and effective medical care. Rev. Crum Escalera found strength in his most difficult time and now approaches others with a true understanding and deep empathy.

Rev. Crum Escalera credits his supportive husband, Donald for helping him overcome the many challenges he faced in recent years.

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 role 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

Enter for a chance to win a pair of Apple Airpod Pros. Tickets are only $10!

apple-airpod-pro-1
WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

GIVE TODAY!

We believe that nobody should die from hepatitis B. Your gift will help the Hepatitis B Foundation fulfill its mission to find a cure and improve the lives of those affected worldwide through research, education, public health and patient advocacy. Your donation will be put to work right away towards targeted outreach and research.