Harald zur Hausen

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Harald zur Hausen (2010)

Harald zur Hausen (born March 11, 1936 in Gelsenkirchen ) is a German medic . On October 6, 2008, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine .


In 1955, Zur Hausen graduated from high school Antonianum in Vechta . He studied medicine at the Universities of Bonn , Hamburg and Düsseldorf and received his doctorate in Düsseldorf in 1960 . He then worked for two years as a medical assistant and then for three years as a research assistant at the Institute for Medical Microbiology at the University of Düsseldorf. This was followed by three and a half years at the Virus Laboratories of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia . Zur Hausen was also an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania . In 1969 he completed his habilitation at the Julius Maximilians University of Würzburg , where he worked at the Institute for Virology . In 1972 he was a professor at the newly established Department of Clinical Virology at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg appointed , in 1977 he was appointed to the Chair of Virology and Hygiene at the University of Freiburg .

From 1983 to 2003 Harald zur Hausen was Chairman and Scientific Member of the Board of Trustees of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg . Under zur Hausen's leadership, the Cancer Research Center, which does not have any clinical bed departments, considerably expanded its collaboration with individual university clinics : so-called clinical cooperation units ensure the interlinking of basic research and clinical medicine in order to transfer research results into practice as quickly as possible.

From 2007 to 2011, zur Hausen was a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Zukunftskolleg at the University of Konstanz .

Zur Hausen was editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Cancer until the end of 2010 .

Since 1993 he has been married to Professor Ethel-Michele de Villiers , who also works at the German Cancer Research Center. Zur Hausen has three sons from his first marriage. Today he lives with his wife in the Hessian community of Wald-Michelbach in the Odenwald.

Research areas

Zur Hausen's special field of research was the development of cancers from viral infections. As early as 1976 he published the hypothesis that human papilloma viruses (wart viruses) play a role in the development of cervical cancer (cervical cancer ). The suspicion soon turned into experimental scientific certainty. At the beginning of the 1980s, he and his group were able to isolate types HPV 16 and HPV 18 of the human papilloma virus from tissue suffering from cervical cancer for the first time. The discovery of the trigger of the third most common cancer in women opened up entirely new perspectives in prevention and treatment and ultimately led to the development of HPV vaccines , which have been available since 2006. Zur Hausen is currently (2014) concerned with the question of whether a diet with beef can induce cancer in humans ( Bovine Meat and Milk Factors ) : “That was the starting point for the idea that such virus infections could also be present in animals are not carcinogenic to them themselves, but if they are passed on to humans, they can possibly cause cancer. "

honors and awards

Luc Montagnier, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Harald zur Hausen during Nobel Week at the Karolinska Institute

2008 Harald zur Hausen was together with Frenchman Luc Montagnier and the Frenchwoman Francoise Barre-Sinoussi of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded.

For his professional achievements, Harald zur Hausen was also awarded numerous other prizes, including a. with the Robert Koch Prize (1975), the Charles S. Mott Prize of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation (1986), the German Cancer Prize (1986), the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize (1994), the Behring Lecture at the Philipps University of Marburg (1994), the Ernst Jung Prize and the Jacob Henle Medal (1996), the Charles Rodolphe Brupbacher Prize for Cancer Research together with George Klein (1999), the Prince Mahidol Prize (2005), the William B. Coley Award (2006), the Raymond Bourgine Award (2006), the Loeffler Frosch Medal (2007), the German Cancer Aid Prize (2007), the Johann Georg Zimmermann Medal (2007 ), the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize (2007), the Gairdner Foundation International Award (2008), the “Award for Lifetime Achievement in Cancer Research” from the American Association for Cancer Research (2008), the Tsungming Tu Prize (2011) and the Ernst Wertheim Prize (2012).

He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the universities of Chicago (USA), Umeå (Sweden), Prague (Czech Republic), Salford (England), Helsinki (Finland), Erlangen-Nuremberg, Würzburg and Jerusalem. Along with other organizations, he is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences , a full member of the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences since 1986, a member since 1987 and vice-president of the Leopoldina Academy of Natural Sciences from 2003 to 2009 . In 1990 he was accepted as a full member of the Academia Europaea . In 1998 he became a member of the American Philosophical Society . In 2017 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science . In April 2004 he was awarded the Great Federal Cross of Merit. In 2006 Harald zur Hausen received the Baden-Württemberg Medal of Merit . On November 4, 2008 he was made an honorary citizen of the community of Wald-Michelbach, where he lives. At the same time he was also awarded the title of Ambassador of the Bergstrasse .

On April 6, 2009, Zur Hausen was awarded the Grand Cross of Merit with Star of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by Federal President Horst Köhler in Bellevue Palace .

From January 1 to July 1, 2010, Harald zur Hausen was the successor of Dagmar Schipanski as honorary president of the German Cancer Aid . From the beginning of January 2014 to the end of January 2017, he was also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Paul Ehrlich Foundation, which awards the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize.

On July 1, 2020, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia .

Fonts (selection)

  • Against cancer - the story of a provocative idea . Rowohlt Verlag, Hamburg 2010, ISBN 978-3-498-03001-8 (review :).
  • What to do about cancer Audio CD, 76 minutes. Concept and direction: Klaus Sander. Narrator: Harald zur Hausen. Supposé, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-932513-84-8 .
  • Infections Causing Human Cancer . Wiley-VCH, Weinheim 2006, ISBN 978-3-527-31056-2 .
  • Genome and belief. The invisible cage . Springer, Berlin 2001.
  • "Papilloma viruses and cancer pathogens." In: Obstetrics and Frauenheilkunde 58 (1998), pp. 291-296 ( electronic version ).

Literature about Harald zur Hausen

Web links

Commons : Harald zur Hausen  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Nobel Laureate 2008
  2. Zukunftskolleg.uni-konstanz.de
  3. H. zur Hausen: Condylomata acuminata and human genital cancer. In: Cancer Research . Volume 36, Number 2 pt 2, February 1976, p. 794, PMID 175942 .
  4. L. Gissmann, M. Boshart, M. Dürst, H. Ikenberg, D. Wagner, H. zur Hausen: Presence of human papillomavirus in genital tumors. In: The Journal of investigative dermatology. Volume 83, Number 1 Suppl, July 1984, pp. 26s-28s, doi : 10.1111 / 1523-1747.ep12281143 , PMID 6330218 (review).
  5. M. Boshart, L. Gissmann, H. Ikenberg, A. Kleinheinz, W. Scheurlen, H. zur Hausen: A new type of papillomavirus DNA, its presence in genital cancer biopsies and in cell lines derived from cervical cancer. In: The EMBO Journal . Volume 3, Number 5, May 1984, pp. 1151-1157, PMID 6329740 , PMC 557488 (free full text).
  6. Wolfgang Däuble: Why do Indians so rarely have colon cancer? In: FAZ.net . April 26, 2014, accessed December 16, 2014 .
  7. Behring Lecture , Prize Winners 1986–2009 On: uni-marburg.de , accessed on January 23, 2017
  8. Ernst Wertheim Prize 2012 to Harald zur Hausen ( Memento from December 14, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  9. Member entry by Prof. Dr. Harald zur Hausen (with picture and CV) at the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina , accessed on July 12, 2016.
  10. ^ Membership directory: Harald zur Hausen. Academia Europaea, accessed on July 29, 2017 .
  11. Member History: Harald zur Hausen. American Philosophical Society, accessed September 24, 2018 (with a short biography).
  12. kreis-bergstrasse.de of 11 March 2009: Portrait Harald zur Hausen, accessed on 25 September 2012 found.
  13. ^ S. Seltmann: Federal Cross of Merit for Nobel Prize winner Harald zur Hausen. Press release of the DKFZ from April 6, 2009.
  14. ^ Zur Hausen resigned as President of Cancer Aid. In: Deutsches Ärzteblatt from July 1, 2010.
  15. ^ Paul Ehrlich Foundation / About the Paul Ehrlich Foundation. On: uni-frankfurt.de from March 14, 2017.
  16. Prime Minister Armin Laschet awards the State Order of Merit to ten citizens. State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia , July 1, 2020, accessed on July 1, 2020 .
  17. A cancer researcher offends in: Tages-Anzeiger of September 30, 2010.