The Baruch S. Blumberg Institute has recruited a new team of nationally renowned liver disease researchers, who are aiming to develop a cure for the hepatitis B virus (HBV) within the next three years, according to a press release from the Hepatitis B Foundation, the nonprofit which houses the research facility in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Four principle scientists—Timothy Block, PhD (who co-founded the Hepatitis B Foundation in 1991); Ju Tao Guo, MD; Ying-Hsiu Su, PhD; and Jinhong Chang, MD, PhD—as well as 16 of their staff members started working full-time at the institute on March 1.

They aim to build their research on recent discoveries in liver disease and liver cancer that have drastically accelerated the momentum of HBV cure research.

These breakthroughs include the development of new approaches to shutting down the hep B virus, the discovery of a new blood biomarker that can help detect liver cancer earlier, and a promising new drug that has selectively killed liver cancer cells in recent animal studies.

The additional staff nearly triples research capacity at the institute, which now hosts the most nonprofit scientists working together on hep B and liver cancer in the United States.