Mourning for Harald zur Hausen

The Paul Ehrlich Foundation mourns the death of the former Chairman of its Scientific Council, Prof. Dr. med. Harald zur Hausen, who passed away at the age of 87. Undeterred by the contrary prevailing opinion, the outstanding scientist provided proof that cervical cancer can be caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV). As early as 1994, he was awarded the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for this achievement.

Under Harald zur Hausen's 20-year aegis from 1983 to 2003, the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg developed into one of the leading international institutions in cancer research. With tenacious patience, zur Hausen promoted the translation of his discovery into medical practice - with great success: in 2006, an HPV vaccine was approved for the first time for the prevention of cervical cancer. Two years later, zur Hausen's career was crowned by a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. HPV vaccines since then have benefitted millions of people around the world.