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Special Nobel Laureate Seminar: Harald zur Hausen, October 12th 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Matthias Voss   
Friday, 12 November 2010 18:59

Prof. Harald zur Hausen (left) with members of the graduate program after a discussion and lunch session at the Adolf-Butenandt Institute

Once a year in the past five years our International Graduate program has organized a talk by a Nobel Laureate. This year, we had the pleasure to welcome Prof. Dr. Harald zur Hausen who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008 for his discovery of human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer.

Our guest spent the afternoon with members of our program and readily answered our questions.  As the former head of the DKFZ in Heidelberg and editor-in chief of the International Journal of Cancer he holds an impressive experience on the development of a successful scientific career and kindly shared it with us. During our lunch in the Adolf-Butenandt-Institut each student had the opportunity to talk to Prof. zur Hausen and discuss his or her own project and perspectives with him. His lifelong and abiding commitment to science and his interest in the young researchers of our graduate school made this afternoon a very inspiring and valuable event for all participants.

Afterwards, Prof. zur Hausen  gave a public seminar on "Infections causing  Human Cancer" in the Walter-Straub-Institut for Pharmacology and Toxicology. A large audience listened to his talk about his research on human papilloma viruses (HPV) resulting in the development of a successful vaccination against HPV infection. Still in close contact to ongoing projects at the DKFZ, Prof zur Hausen also presented recent results from work on carcinogenic viruses and explained interesting relations between alimentary habits and the occurrence of diseases in different areas of the world. Afterwards, Prof. zur Hausen joined us at Paulaner Bräuhaus where we continued our discussions over an excellent Bavarian dinner.

As members of International Graduate Program "Protein Dynamics in Health and Disease" we consider ourselves lucky to host seminars by world leading scientists. The visit of Prof. zur Hausen was a mutually enjoyed event, an honour and a highlight for our group. We'd like to thank Prof. zur Hausen once more for this extraordinary experience.

Special thanks go to Julia Gallinger, member of our graduate program, for her excellent organization of the whole event.