R. Palmer Beasley, M.D., Ashbel Smith Professor at The University of Texas School of Public Health, has been awarded the Hepatitis B Foundation's Distinguished Scientist Award 2010.
"The HBV vaccine, the first cancer vaccine, provides long-term protection against hepatitis B infection, which is responsible for a large proportion of liver cancer in the world. Ultimately, HBV can be eradicated," said Beasley. "This honor from the Hepatitis B Foundation provides another tool to encourage the world to use the vaccine vigorously."
For more than 18 years, Beasley served as dean of the UT School of Public Health. Beasley has pioneered work in perinatal hepatitis B virus transmission, which showed that mother-infant transmission was the most important factor in sustaining hepatitis B virus infection in Asia. He also did the definitive research that proved that hepatitis B causes primary liver cancer and led the global effort to convince the World Health Organization to establish the HBV vaccine as the first human cancer vaccine.
"Dr. Beasley's contributions to understanding the link between hepatitis B and liver cancer have saved thousands of lives. His work not only transformed our understanding of the cause of liver cancer, but then spearheaded the solution through vaccination," said Roberta B. Ness, M.D., dean of the UT School of Public Health. "We are certainly proud to call him one of our own."
This award is the highest scientific honor awarded by the foundation in recognition and appreciation for the research of hepatitis B.