Papanicolaou, George

Papanicolaou, George (Nicholas)

(1883–1962) anatomist, oncologist; born in Kyme, Greece. After completing his medical studies in Germany, he emigrated to the United States in 1913. He was affiliated with Cornell Medical School for most of his career (1914–49); he went on to become director of the Miami Cancer Institute (since renamed Papanicolaou Cancer Research Institute). During the course of cytological studies of cancer patients' vaginal fluid, he noted neoplastic cells and published his findings (1928). He predicted the technique he developed could be used to screen for cervical cancer. The "Pap test," however, did not become widely used until 1947.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.