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Press Release

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier Win Nobel Prize for Discovery of HIV

October 6, 2008

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided to award The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2008 with one half to

Harald zur Hausen

for his discovery of "human papilloma viruses causing cervical cancer"

and the other half jointly to

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier

for their discovery of "human immunodeficiency virus"

This year's Nobel Prize awards discoveries of two viruses causing severe human diseases.

Harald zur Hausen went against current dogma and postulated that oncogenic human papilloma virus (HPV) caused cervical cancer, the second most common cancer among women. He realized that HPV-DNA could exist in a non-productive state in the tumours, and should be detectable by specific searches for viral DNA. He found HPV to be a heterogeneous family of viruses. Only some HPV types cause cancer. His discovery has led to characterization of the natural history of HPV infection, an understanding of mechanisms of HPV-induced carcinogenesis and the development of prophylactic vaccines against HPV acquisition. 

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Paris Thu., Oct. 9, 2008 at 7:39 am EDT
Luc Montagner said that a therapeutic aids vaccine could be ready by 2012.
He emphasized that this vaccine could cure HIV people. From - le Figaro'-
Many times we heard this new in the past, but now i believe that Montagner really knows what he said immediately after the nobel prize celebration, in front of the whole world.
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