Harald zur Hausen, Nobel Laureate in medicine, longtime Chairman of the DKFZ Board of Directors, passed on 29 May 2023.
Harald zur Hausen’s research laid the foundations for the development of a vaccine against cancer-causing human papillomaviruses. Millions of people around the world now benefit from this scientific achievement.
Chairman of the Board and Scientific Director at DKFZ, zur Hausen led the German Cancer Research Center for twenty years from 1983 until his retirement in 2003. In the course of his research life, zur Hausen was honored with an impressive number of academic awards. He was the recipient of nearly 40 honorary doctorates and numerous honorary professorships, and in 2008 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine. In 2009, zur Hausen received the Grand Cross of Merit with Star of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In 2017, the city of Heidelberg named him an honorary citizen.
He was member of the ICGEB Council of Scientific Advisers between 2015-1017. Dr. Lawrence Banks, ICGEB Director-General remembers him: “Harald was always the perfect gentleman and scholar. He dedicated his life to using science for the collective human good. His generosity in making his scientific discoveries and reagents freely available to the scientific community triggered an explosion of research in HPV and its associated cancers, thereby directly saving millions of lives.”