Hepatitis B Foundation Research
The Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF) laboratory was established to advance our mission to find a cure for chronic hepatitis B and help improve the quality of life for all those affected worldwide. Our strong commitment to research is what makes us so unique. Unlike most nonprofit organizations that fund outside research institutions, we fund our own labs with scientists committed to hepatitis B research. This has resulted in a highly productive synergy of effort between our scientists and outreach staff who benefit directly from each other’s work.
Currently, our research program includes funding the HBF lab and our research institute the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research; sponsoring the Bruce Witte Research Fellowship to recruit a beginning scientist into HBV research; coordinating an expanding research training program for high school, college, graduate and post-graduate students; hosting the prestigious annual Princeton Workshop with the renowned thought leaders in the field; and hosting a regular seminar series that is highlighted by the Distinguished Bruce Witte Lecturer.
History of the HBF Lab
The Hepatitis B Foundation Lab was first established at the Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, through the support of Dr. Joseph Gonnella, dean of the medical college in 1994. Four years later, the HBF lab and outreach offices moved to Bucks County, PA, to the new Jefferson Center for Biomedical Research, with which we shared mutual research goals.
In 2004, a new academic partnership with Drexel University College of Medicine was established. A new research division was created - the Drexel Institute for Biotechnology and Virology Research (DIBVIR)- and is located at the site of the former Jefferson Center. We now share space and resources with Drexel and in this way, ideas and numbers are being multiplied beyond what our two organizations could achieve alone.
With an eye to the future, the Hepatitis B Foundation created the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research (IHVR) - also known as the "Pennsylvania Commonwealth Institute" – in 2004. As an independent nonprofit research institute that also houses the HBF Lab, it serves as our research arm dedicated to finding cure for hepatitis B in specific and viral hepatitis in general.
Innovative features of the IHVR include a large 80,000 compound library and screening program for drug discovery against the hepatitis B virus. A state-of-the-art proteomics lab utilizes two mass spectrometers to examine proteins and other molecules from those infected with hepatitis B and C in order to develop early markers of liver disease.
Through discovery research and translational biotechnology, traditional scholarly and educational opportunities, and public health outreach initiatives, the IHVR offers an exceptional opportunity to bring scientists together from commercial, academic and other nonprofit institutions to pursue common themes in an environment conducive to interaction, collaboration and focus.