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Prof. Dr.

Harald zur Hausen

Vice President of the Leopoldina 2003 - 2009

Year of election: 1987
Section: Human Genetics and Molecular Medicine
City: Heidelberg
Country: Germany


Harald zur Hausen worked for a long period of time on problems of virus-linked human carcinogenesis. He and his group identified those types of human papilloma- viruses, which are the main causative agents for cervical cancer. Among a number of other contributions, these were the studies which resulted in the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2008. For twenty years, he acted as Scientific Director of the Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum in Heidelberg, and retired six years ago, but continues to work as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Cancer.


  • since 2003 Professor emeritus
  • 2002 John H. Blaffer Visiting Professor, M.D. Anderson, Houston, USA
  • 1998 Link Visiting Professorship, Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK
  • 1988 General Motors Visiting Professor, F. Hutchinson Cancer Center and University of Seattle, USA
  • 1988 Appointment as honorary professor at the University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • 1985 General Motors Visiting Professor, McArdle University, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  • 1981 Visiting Professor of the Microbiological Society of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  • 1977-1983 Chairman and Professor, Institut für Virologie, Zentrum für Hygiene, University of Freiburg, Germany
  • 1976 Queensland Professor at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia
  • 1974 Visiting Professor at the University of Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  • 1972-1977 Chairman and Professor, Institut für Klinische Virologie, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
  • 1969-1972 Senior Scientist, Institut für Virologie, University of Würzburg, Germany
  • 1969 Habilitation, University of Würzburg, Germany
  • 1968 Appointment as Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1966-1969 Research Fellow, Division of Virology, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, USA
  • 1962-1965 Research Fellow, Institute for Hygiene and Microbiology, University of Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 1962 Approbation
  • 1960-1962 Internships in Wimbern, Isny, Gelsenkirchen and Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 1960 Graduation in Medicine and M.D. University of Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 1955-1960 Medical student at the Universities of Bonn (1955 - 1957), Hamburg (1957 - 1958), and Düsseldorf (1958 - 1960), Germany


  • since 2010 Vice President European Academy of Cancer
  • since 2007 Member of the International Advisory Committee of the National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Bangkok, Thailand
  • 2007-2009 Member Scientific Advisory Board of the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF), Vienna, Austria
  • 2006-2009 Member of the Board of Directors, International Union against Cancer, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 2005-2009 Member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the French National Cancer Institute, Paris, France
  • 2003-2009 Vice President of the German Academy of Science Leopoldina, which was appointed the German National Academy of Sciences, Halle (Saale), in 2008
  • 2003-2006 Member of the board of trustees of the University Advisory Council University of Göttingen, Germany
  • 2003-2005 Member of the Health Research Council of the German Ministry of Science and Technology
  • 2001-2003 Vice President of the Helmholtz Society of German National Research Centers
  • 1999-2009 Member of the Governing Council of the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR), Brussels, Belgium
  • 1999-2000 Vice Chairman of the German American Academic Council (DAAK)
  • 1998-2002 Member of the University Advisory Council of the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
  • 1998-2000 Member of the German American Academic Council (DAAK)
  • 1996-2006 Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Cancer Research (LBI)
  • 1994-1998 Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Imperial Cancer Research Center (ICRF), London, UK

Auszeichnungen und Mitgliedschaften

  • 2011 Bavarian Order of Merit for Sciences and the Arts, Munich, Germany
  • 2011 Tsungming- u Award
  • 2011 Member of the Ludwig Heilmeyer Society for Progress in Internal Medicine, Cologne, Germany
  • 2010 Grand Georgios Papanicolaou Award, Hellenic Society, New York, USA
  • 2010 “Hall of Fame of German Research”, Manager Magazin, Berlin, Germany
  • 2010 The Economist’s Innovation Award, The Economist, London, UK
  • 2010 Foreign Member Finnish Society for Science, Helsinki, Finland
  • 2010 Member of the American Association for Cancer Research, Philadelphia, USA
  • 2010 Member of the German Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Berlin, Germany
  • 2010 Member of the International Association for Dental Research, Barcelona, Spain
  • 2010 Honorary Member of the Australian Society for Microbiology, Sidney, Australia
  • 2010 Member of the Ecuadorial Society of Pathology of the Genital Tract and Colposcopy, Quevedo, Ecuador
  • 2010 Honorary Citizen of Quesedo, Ecuador
  • 2010 Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities
  • 2009 Special Order of Merit with Star of the Federal Republik of Germany (Großes Bundesverdienstkreuz mit Stern des Verdienstordens)
  • 2009 Foreign Member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA
  • 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2008 Gairdner Foundation International Award, Toronto, Canada
  • 2008 AACR (American Association for Cancer Research) Lifetime Achievement Award, American Association of Cancer Research, San Diego, USA
  • 2008 Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 2008 Honorary Member European Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • 2007 Johann-Georg Zimmermann Medal for Distinguished Research in Cancer Prevention, Hannover, Germany
  • 2006 William B Coley Award for Distinguished Research in Basic Immunology, Cancer Research Institute, New York, USA
  • 2006 Raymond Bourgine Award
  • 2006 Member of La Sociedad Peruana de Cancerologia, Lima, Peru
  • 2005 Prize of the Panamerican Society for Clinical Virology, Clearwater, USA
  • 2005 Honorary Member of the German Dermatology Society
  • 2004 Order of Merit, Berlin, Germany
  • 2003 Member of the Academy of Cancer Immunology, New York, USA
  • 2003 Honorary Member of the German Society of Virology
  • 2002 Isaac Berenblum Memorial Lecture, Rehovot, Israel




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