Nubia Munoz MD, MPH

Recipient of the Canada Gairdner Global Health Award, 2009
"For her epidemiological studies that defined the essential role of the human papilloma virus in the etiology of cervical cancer on a global level which led to the development of successful prophylactic vaccines."

Catalan Institute of Oncology, Barcelona, Spain and National Cancer Institute, Bogota, Colombia


Nubia graduated from the School of Medicine at Universidad del Valle in 1964. After graduation from Universidad del Valle, she worked for three years in the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, where the headquarters of the National Health Institute is located. She got a Master's Degree in Public Health specializing in Epidemiology and Virology of Cancer in the School of Public Health of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Then, she went to Lyon, France, to continue her research at the International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC), which belongs to the World Health Organization.


Nubia Muñoz is a former winner of the First Richard Doll Prize in Epidemiology for proving that HPV causes Cervical Cancer. Her story is a remarkable one and will undoubtedly go down in the annals of epidemiology as an example par excellence of what all epidemiologists aspire to and can accomplish in studying the etiology of a disease.


Nubia Muñoz was a Postgraduate student, School of Public Health, 1968 to 1969, at Johns Hopkins. Nubia Munoz' work at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and with teams across the world led to establishing the relationship between the human papillomavirus and cervical cancers. This recognition of a viral cause of cervical cancer has led to the development of vaccines that would prevent these infections and that hold promise for the control and possible elimination of this cancer.


Nubia Muñoz was inducted in the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2004. This induction is to honor the significant accomplishments of men and women who spent part of their careers at Johns Hopkins. The society - the first of its kind in the USA - inducts former postdoctoral fellows and junior or visiting faculty at Johns Hopkins who have gained marked distinction in their fields of physical, biological, medical, social or engineering sciences or in the humanities and for whom at least five years have elapsed since their last Hopkins affiliation.

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