Vincent Racaniello speaks with Professor Harald zur Hausen, recipient of the 2013 Society for General Microbiology Prize Medal for "work that has had a far-reaching impact beyond microbiology."
Professor zur Hausen talks about the beginnings of his work on the human papilloma virus (HPV) starting in 1972 with a group he setup to look at the "isolation and characterization of the viruses in genital warts."
This group would lead to the discovery of HPV 16 and 18 (the leading cause of cervical cancer) amongst many other types.
The discovery of these two particular strains of HPV led to insights into the cancer causing properties of HPV which would result in the production of the HPV vaccine.
Vincent and Professor zur Hausen also discuss other virus related cancers including the possibility that colon cancer is a product of a virus and the application of the HPV vaccine to males as well as females.
Filmed on location in Manchester, England at the 2013 Society for General Microbiology conference.