How Dedication Leads to Success

Student Newspaper of the International School Bangkok, December 2012

As part of the "Bridges" event facilitated by the International Peace Foundation, ISB students were fortunate enough to learn from and speak with 2008 Nobel Laureate for Medicine, Professor Harald zur Hausen at a high school assembly on November 26th.

Professor zur Hausen was nominated for the Nobel Prize after discovering that the human papilloma virus [HPV] is in fact the cause of cervical cancer, the second leading cancer for women. After many  years of dedicated research at the German Cancer Research Center in  Heidelberg, he publicly announced his findings, and a vaccine was then produced which provided protection against more than 95% of HPV 16 and HPV 18 strains.

During the assembly, Professor zur Hausen spoke about the scientific process that he used to detect and identify viral DNA in the tumor cells of cervical cancer patients. He also modestly mentioned the incredible amount of effort he put into his research, as well as how difficult it was to use methods that were untraditional in the eyes ofthe scientific community.

“l was honored to have such an accompiished person come to our school,” says Kimberly Remijan (10). "His words really inspired me to stick with what I believe in, even if others discourage my pursuits.”

After his thought provoking speech, students were given the chance to voice their questions and
concerns. Professor zur Hausen used his vast medical knowledge to respond to each.

"I thought the assembly was very worthwhile," says Becca Chairin [12], "but l don’t think we used our time with him very well. [The questions] should have focused more on [his] personal life or his experiences. I mean, how often do you get to speak to a Nobel Laureate?”

Overall, the event was a wonderful learning experience and an absolute honor having a Nobel Laureate speak about his profession and life-long passion for medicine at ISB.

by Thanya Chat