Pioneering European research into AIDS and cancer has been recognised by the Nobel Committee in Stockholm. Half of this year’s prize for medicine and physiology has gone to Germany’s Harald zur Hausen. He was the researcher who went against current-thinking and found a link between a common virus known as papilloma and cervical cancer.
The other half of the prize has been jointly-won by the two French scientists who discovered the HIV virus, 25 years after their pioneering work.
Hausen, who is a former director of the German Cancer Research Centre, said: “This means quite a lot to me because a scientific field that’s become more and more the focus of cancer research has been recognised – that is, the role of infectious agents in cancer.”
Thanks to Hausen’s discovery, researchers went on to develop a vaccine against the cancer-causing virus.