Cuban American doctor who helped find cure for hepatitis C dies at 70

Dr. Luis Antonio Balart.

Requiescat In Pace Dr. Luis Balart. Thank you for all your contributions to humanity and for making our Cuban American community proud.


Dr. Luis Balart, who helped develop a cure for hepatitis C, dies at 70

Dr. Luis A. Balart, a specialist in diseases of the liver who helped develop a cure for hepatitis C, died of leukemia Monday (Jan. 14) in Boston. He was 70.

Dr. Balart, who had lived in New Orleans since 1961, was in Boston for treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

During his four-decade career, which included liver transplantation, Dr. Balart was chief of the gastroenterology departments at LSU and Tulane University medical schools, and he worked at Ochsner Medical Center, Southern Baptist Hospital and Tulane Medical Center.

Among his accomplishments was the development of a cure for hepatitis C, a viral affliction that can lead to liver disease, cirrhosis, liver failure and cancer. It is primarily spread through blood-to-blood contact, and about 2.7 million Americans are estimated to suffer from chronic hepatitis C, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Luis Antonio Balart, who was born in Havana on Oct. 20, 1948, emigrated with his family to the United States in 1961 and settled in New Orleans.

He graduated from Redemptorist High School and earned undergraduate and medical degrees at LSU. After an internship at Charity Hospital, Dr. Balart was a resident at the Naval Regional Medical Center in Philadelphia and F. Edward Hebert Hospital in New Orleans. He also completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at Ochsner Clinic and a fellowship in hepatology at the University of Southern California.

While in medical school, Dr. Balart enlisted in the Navy and served 20 years in the Navy Reserve, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander.

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