Harald zur Hausen

Harald zur Hausen

Infobox Scientist
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name = Harald zur Hausen

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birth_date = birth date and age|1936|3|11
birth_place = Gelsenkirchen, Germany
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nationality = German
fields = Virology
workplaces = German Cancer Research Center
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known_for = Discovery that HPV can cause cervical cancer
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awards = 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

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Harald zur Hausen (born March 11, 1936) is a German medical scientist and professor emeritus. He has done research on cancer of the cervix, where he discovered the role of papilloma viruses, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2008.


Zur Hausen was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, went to the Gymnasium in Vechta, and studied medicine at the Universities of Bonn, Hamburg and Düsseldorf and received a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1960 from the University of Düsseldorf, after which he became a medical assistant.

Two years later, he joined the Institute for Microbiology at the University of Düsseldorf as a laboratory assistant. After three and a half years, he moved to Philadelphia and worked at the Virus Laboratories of the Children's Hospital. He became an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1969, he became a regular teaching and researching professor at the University of Würzburg, where he worked at the Institute for Virology. In 1972, he moved to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. In 1977, he moved on to the University of Freiburg (Breisgau), where he headed the department of virology and hygiene.

From 1983 until 2003 zur Hausen served as a chairman and member of the scientific advisory board of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ in German) in Heidelberg. He also is editor-in-chief of the "International Journal of Cancer". He is author of the book "Infections Causing Human Cancer" from 2006.

cientific merits

Zur Hausen's specific field of research is the study of oncoviruses. In 1976, he published the hypothesis that human papilloma virus plays an important role in the cause of cervical cancer. His research contributed to the development of a vaccine which was introduced in 2006. See also HPV vaccine.

He received the Gairdner Foundation International Award in 2008 for his contributions to medical science.cite web |url=http://www.gairdner.org/awards/awardees2/2008/2008awarde/haraldzurh |title="Harald zur Hausen" |accessdate=2008-05-25 |publisher=The Gairdner Foundation |date= ] He also shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Luc Montagnier and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, who discovered the human immunodeficiency virus.cite web |url=http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2008/ |title=The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2008 |accessdate=2008-10-06 |publisher=Nobelprize.org |date=2008-10-06 2008 Nobel Prize winner "for his discovery of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer"]


*"Infections Causing Human Cancer" (2006) (Print ISBN: 9783527310562; Online ISBN: 9783527609314)


*Robert Koch Prize (1975)
*Charles S. Mott Prize (1986)
*Paul-Ehrlich-und-Ludwig-Darmstaedter-Preis (1994)
*"Virchow Medal" from the University of Wurzburg (2000)
*"San Marino Prize for Medicine" (2002)
*Great Cross of Merit (2004)
*William B. Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic and Tumor Immunology in 2006 (with Ian Frazer)
*Gairdner Foundation International Award (2008)
*Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2008)
*Honorary degrees of the universities of Chicago, Umeå, Prague, Salford, Helsinki and Erlangen-Nuremberg


NAME = Hausen, Harald zur
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Co-recipient, 2008, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
DATE OF BIRTH = March 11, 1936
PLACE OF BIRTH = Gelsenkirchen, Germany

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