Nearly 500 scientists from around the world participated, including virologists and chemists conducting basic research in hepatitis B and clinicians who treat people living with the disease.

Doylestown, Pa., Oct. 10, 2023 – The Hepatitis B Foundation, a global nonprofit headquartered in the U.S., coordinated the highly successful 2023 International HBV Meeting, held Sept. 19-23 in Kobe, Japan.

Nearly 500 scientists from 28 countries participated in person and online. The Hepatitis B Foundation has coordinated the conference every year since 2005, except for 2020, when COVID-19 forced a cancellation.

Prior to the many scientific presentations on the program, the event started with the HBF and ICE-HBV Community Forum led by Chari A. Cohen, DrPH, MPH, president of the Hepatitis B Foundation. A recording of the forum is posted here.

This year’s meeting included a new session, a Young Scientists Symposium, where early stage researchers got to know each other and discuss key topics and priorities for those working in the field of hepatitis B and D.

Chari A. Cohen, DrPH, MPH, president of the Hepatitis B Foundation, opened the Young Scientists Symposium. 

The co-chairs for this year’s meeting were two scientists with Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases: Koichi Watashi, PhD, director, Division of Drug Development Research, and Masamichi Muramatsu, MD, PhD, director, Department of Virology II at the Institute and Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation at Kobe.

Many globally prominent scientists have participated in the meeting over the years, including Nobel Laureates Harold Varmus, PhD, one of the meeting’s co-founders, and Harvey Alter, MD, who is credited with discovering the hepatitis C virus, along with Michael Houghton, PhD, and Charles Rice, PhD. A key contributor at every International HBV Meeting has been Timothy M. Block, PhD, one of the top experts on the hepatitis B virus. He is co-founder and former president of the Hepatitis B Foundation and chair of its Board of Directors.

From left: Koichi Watashi, PhD; Luca Guidotti, MD, PhD; and Masamichi Muramatsu, MD, PhD

The International HBV Meeting’s Scientific Advisory Committee presented the 2023 Distinguished Award in Hepatitis B Research to Prof. Luca G. Guidotti, MD, PhD, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University & San Raffaele Hospital, Italy.

Prof. Guidotti is an internationally renowned virologist and viral immunologist who spent more than 20 years on the faculty of Scripps Research in La Jolla, Calif. He currently is deputy scientific director of the IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, the largest private University Hospital in Italy. Prof. Guidotti also serves as professor of pathology at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Medical School. He has published in prestigious journals such as Cell, Nature or Science and his research activities have been financed by the NIH and the European Research Council (ERC).

Prof. Guidotti has also been a member of numerous study sections/panels at the NIH and ERC for the allocation of funds to biomedical research, and he is/has been a member of advisory boards and a member of the board of directors of several academic programs and biotech companies.

About hepatitis B: The world’s most common serious liver infection, chronic hepatitis B, is caused by a virus that attacks and injures the liver. Each year up to 1 million people die from hepatitis B worldwide, even though it is preventable and treatable. Hepatitis B is a “silent epidemic” because most people do not have symptoms when they are newly or chronically infected. Thus, they can unknowingly infect others and continue the spread of hepatitis B. For people who are chronically infected but don’t have any symptoms, their livers are still being silently damaged, which can develop into serious liver disease such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.

About the Hepatitis B Foundation: As the world’s leading hepatitis B advocacy and research organization, the Hepatitis B Foundation is one of the most active proponents of improving hepatitis B screening, prevention, and treatment of the disease. We are the only nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the quality of life for those affected worldwide through research, education and patient advocacy. Founded in 1991, the Hepatitis B Foundation is based in Doylestown, Pa., with offices in Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. To learn more, go to, read our blog at, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook (@hepbfoundation) or call us at 215-489-4900.