Professor Harald zur Hausen, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, has informed the European Commission that due to personal reasons he will step down with immediate effect as Chair of the Horizon Europe Mission Board for Cancer.
Prof. zur Hausen expressed his regret to have to relinquish this role and underlined his continued support for this ambitious endeavour to improve cancer prevention and treatment. He also offered to provide the board with advice in his areas of expertise: cancer aetiology and prevention.
Carlos Moedas i, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said:
I am very grateful to Prof zur Hausen for his leadership, drive and expertise during his short term as chair, as he mobilised the board members to start working immediately and take the first decisive steps.
The Commission will now proceed to appoint a new chair, Professor Walter Ricciardi, who is Professor of Hygiene and Public Health at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome, and a new Mission Board Member, Dr Bettina Ryll, who is Founder of the Melanoma Patient Network Europe.
Inspired by the Apollo 11 mission to put a man on the moon, the European research and innovation missions aim to deliver solutions to some of the greatest challenges facing our world, such as cancer, climate change, healthy oceans, climate-neutral cities and healthy soil and food. The current five mission areas were identified during the negotiations of the Horizon Europe programme. To narrow down the five broad mission areas, the Commission has appointed a mission board for each area.