Harald zur Hausen (born March 11, 1936) is a German medical scientist and professor emeritus. He has done research on cancer of the cervix, where he discovered the role of papilloma viruses, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2008.
Two years later, he joined the Institute for Microbiology at the University of Düsseldorf as a laboratory assistant. After three and a half years, he moved to Philadelphia and worked at the Virus Laboratories of the Children's Hospital. He became an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1969, he became a regular teaching and researching professor at the University of Würzburg, where he worked at the Institute for Virology. In 1972, he moved to the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. In 1977, he moved on to the University of Freiburg (Breisgau), where he headed the department of virology and hygiene.
From 1983 until 2003 zur Hausen served as a chairman and member of the scientific advisory board of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ in German) in Heidelberg. He also is editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Cancer. He is author of the book Infections Causing Human Cancer from 2006.
He received the Gairdner Foundation International Award in 2008 for his contributions to medical science. He also shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Luc Montagnier and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, who discovered the human immunodeficiency virus.