Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nobel laureate

Dr. Harald zur Hausen

So this year's Nobel Prize for Medicine has gone to 3 scientists working with viruses. Two for the discovery of the HIV virus and one for the discovery of human papilloma virus as a cause of cervical carcinoma.

To my thinking, the one that stood out in this award was really the physician-scientist Dr. Harald zur Hausen of the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg for his work on the human papilloma virus. What impressed me most was his dogged perseverance, believing in his cause even when no one else would (a 2005 review of his struggles can be found here). How he eventually succeeded despite being largely out of alignment with much of the thinking of his peers, should be an inspiration to all budding biomedical scientists. So here's to you, Dr Hausen!! Congratulations, and thank you for teaching us how to believe in ourselves.

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