ZUR HAUSEN, HARALD / Medicine / Researchers

International Center for Scientific Research





Professor emeritus and former Chairman and Scientific Director, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany.

Research interests

In the 1970s Prof. Dr. zur Hausen defied prevailing views at the time by postulating a connection between infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) and cervical cancer. After pursuing his theory for about 10 years, zur Hausen and his research group were finally able to isolate two types of HPV from cervical cancer tumor samples. HPV 16 and 18 have since been found to cause 70 percent of all cervical cancers.

His research laid the groundwork for the development of vaccines against HPV infection. Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women.

Prizes and awards

2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology, jointly with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier.

Harald zur Hausen has been awarded numerous prizes, including the 2006 Prince Mahidol Award and the 2007 German Cancer Aid Prize. He is a recipient of the Great Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.


Infections causing human cancer
Zur Hausen, Harald.
Weinheim : Wiley-VCH ; Chichester : John Wiley [distributor], c2006.

Viruses in naturally occurring cancers
[Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.] : Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1980.

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