W. Paul Havens, Jr., a professor of medicine at Jefferson Medical College and a prominent researcher into viral hepatitis, died April 6 at his home in Haverford, Pa., at the age of 80.

Havens began his medical career in 1932 as a graduate of Harvard Medical School, when the amount of clinical information available in the United States was, of course, not nearly as voluminous as it is today.

During the time Havens served with the U.S. Army Medical Corps in World War II, little was known about viral hepatitis or cirrhosis. It was, in part, his research that sowed the seeds for today's more advanced therapies. While treating wounded American and allied troops in the western desert of North Africa, Havens was among the first scientists to realize that hepatitis could be caused by two distinct viruses--one that flows through the bloodstream and another that infects the gastrointestinal tract....

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