zur Hausen, Harald

zur Hausen, Harald,

1936–, German virologist, M.D. Univ. of Düsseldorf, 1960. He was a researcher at the Univ. of Würzburg, Germany (1968–72), chairman of the Institute of Clinical Virology, Erlangen-Nürnberg (1972–77), chairman of the Institute of Virology, Univ. of Freiburg (1977–83), and scientific director of the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg (1983–2003). With Françoise Barré-SinoussiBarré-Sinoussi, Françoise,
1947–, French virologist, Ph.D. Pasteur Institute, Paris, 1974. She has been a professor at the Pasteur Institute since 1974 and was appointed head of its retroviral unit in 1992.
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 and Luc MontagnierMontagnier, Luc Antoine,
1932–, French virologist, M.D. Sorbonne, 1960. Montagnier was a researcher at the Medical Research Council at Carshalton, London (1960–63), the Institute of Virology in Glasgow, Scotland (1963–65), and the Curie Institute in Orsay,
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, zur Hausen shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering two viruses that cause severe diseases in humans. Zur Hausen was cited for his 1974 discovery that the human papillomavirushuman papillomavirus
(HPV), any of a family of more than 60 viruses that cause various growths, including plantar warts and genital warts, a sexually transmitted disease. Detectable warts can be or removed, usually by chemicals, freezing, or laser, but often recur.
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 (HPV) causes cervical cancer. He went on to identify the primary strains of the virus that carry the disease, which led to the development of a vaccine. His findings were initially met with skepticism because the common belief at the time was that the herpes simplex virus caused cervical cancer.