Zur Hausen and his team eventually made a breakthrough in 1982 and 1983 when they were able to isolate HPV 16 and HPV 18 as the virus types responsible for cervical cancer. Based on these findings, vaccines have been developed against cervical cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer among women. Zur Hausen's work led to improved methods for predicting which women are in the risk zone. Under Harald zur Hausen's leadership, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg expanded collaboration with university hospitals, thereby strengthening the ties between basic research and clinical practice. The DKFZ is the largest biomedical research establishment in Germany and cooperates with numerous international partner institutions - including, for example, the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, in the USA and Wuhan University in China.
11 March 1936: born in Gelsenkirchen // 1955 to 1960: studied medicine in Bonn, Hamburg and Düsseldorf // 1972 to 1977: professor and director of the Institut für Klinische Virologie at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg // 1977 to 1983: professor and director of the Institut für Virologie, Zentrum für Hygiene at the University of Freiburg // 1983 to 2003: chairman and scientific director of the Management Board of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg // since 2003: professor emeritus // since 2010: vice-president of the European Academy of Cancer Sciences.
The German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) is the largest biomedical research institute in Germany and is a member of the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers. More than 2,500 staff members, including more than 1,000 scientists, are investigating the mechanisms of cancer and are working to identify cancer risk factors.
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