Friends of IARC
Dr Nubia Muñoz
Dr Nubia Muñoz began her career at the University of Valle in Cali, Colombia, where she earned her medical degree and Board of Pathology. She then received further training in pathology, virology, and epidemiology at the United States National Cancer Institute and Johns Hopkins University. Her research first focused on gastric cancer, and in the 1970s this work brought her to IARC in Lyon, where she worked with Dr Calum Muir and Dr Nick Day, before becoming the head of her own research unit in the mid-1980s. Dr Muñoz worked at IARC for more than 30 years.
Dr Muñoz′s research was instrumental in demonstrating the role of human papillomavirus (HPV) as the central and necessary cause of cervical cancer and a contributing factor in other cancers, such as oropharyngeal cancer. She also made important contributions to understanding the causal role of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus in liver cancer and in elucidating the role of Helicobacter pylori in gastric cancer. During her field studies in more than 50 countries, she established a long-lasting global network of IARC collaborators. Dr Muñoz was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and has received many awards, including in 2008 the Richard Doll Prize in Epidemiology from the International Epidemiological Association, and in 2009 the Brupbacher Prize for Cancer Research and the prestigious Gairdner Global Health Award. In 2010 France conferred on her the Chevalier de la Légion d′Honneur, and in 2011 she received the Cruz de Boyacá, the highest honour conferred by Colombia. Dr Muñoz was awarded the IARC Medal of Honour in 2009.