In the crowded Tulla Lecture Room, Prof. zur Hausen explained his thesis that viruses can be transmitted by the consumption of red meat or milk from dairy cows. Those viruses, as zur Hausen says, may cause cancer in humans. About 400 scientists and students from KIT listened, when zur Hausen talked about the discovery of new viruses and their link to colon and breast cancers, as well as to multiple sclerosis. “The predominance of these diseases in regions of high red meat and cow milk consumption is striking”, stated zur Hausen. At the end of the lecture and during the following get-together, young scientists and students discussed his research with zur Hausen.
Harald zur Hausen is emeritus Professor at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), where he had previously been scientific director from 1983 to 2003. He is particularly known for his work on the role of the human papillomavirus on cervical cancer (2nd most common cancer among women), for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008.
Besides ongoing planning, there will be two more YIN lectures held by Nobel Laureates in the coming months. Prof. Stefan Hell, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014, will give a talk at KIT on December 7, 2016. On April 18, 2017, it will be the turn of Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry in 1987. “With three to four lectures a year, held by high-level researchers, YIN aims to bring scientists and students from diverse academic fields together”, says Dr. Guillaume Delaittre, BMBF Research Group leader at Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG) and Institute for Chemical Technology and Polymer Chemistry (ITCP) and YIN member. “This strengthens the scientific community across disciplines, generations, and research institutions.”