The board of directors at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, established by the Hepatitis B Foundation, appointed Randall N. Hyer, MD, PhD, as the organization’s next president. Hyer is the former senior vice president for global medical affairs at Moderna.

In 2020, Hyer played a key role in the global approvals, launches and implementations of Moderna’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, which has been distributed worldwide.

“Dr. Hyer’s background makes him perfectly suited for this position, and I know he is a tremendous person and scientist,” Timothy Block, PhD, founding president of the Blumberg Institute, said in a Blumberg news release. “While it’s challenging, certainly, for me personally to hand over the reins, Randy brings a new passion and dedication to our mission that will build upon the momentum that exists in the Blumberg Institute.”

The Blumberg Institute is one of the nation’s leading centers for hepatitis B and liver cancer research as well as a supporter of future scientists.

Hyer is no stranger to the Blumberg Institute. For the last year, Hyer has worked as a distinguished professor of experimental therapeutics at the Blumberg Institute and senior adviser to the Hepatitis B Foundation. As CEO of the start-up MERLIN Biotech, Hyer has also worked to commercialize technologies with the potential to act as therapeutic mRNA to treat chronic hepatitis B and cancer.

“From my first interactions with Dr. Block and the organizations he founded, I’ve been extremely impressed with their scientific rigor and their dedication to finding cures and treatments for hepatitis B, liver cancer and associated diseases,” Hyer said. “The opportunity to serve as president of the Blumberg Institute is exciting and one I warmly and enthusiastically accept.”