Highlights of Jian Zhou’s Life
Jian Zhou (1957-1999), a famous molecular biologist and virologist, has become a legend for his invention tothe first cancer vaccine in the medical history.Jian was born in Hangzhou, China, in 1957. After finishing his secondary education, he was sent to work in afactory. In 1977 when China resumed the tertiary entrance examination, he was admitted to study medicine atWenzhou Medical College where he obtained his MBBS degree. He then continued to study his Master’sdegree at Zhejiang Medical University where he became interested in pathology. In 1985, he studied to pursuehis Ph D degree at Henan Medical University where he became very interested in molecular biology andvirology for human papillomavirus (HPV) and cancer research. In 1994, Jian was awarded with a degree of Doctor of Medicine by the University of Queensland.From 1987 to 1999, the year in which Jian’s own life was shortened by sudden illness, he held numerousresearch positions, from Postdoctoral Training Fellow, at Beijing Medical University, Beijing, China; ResearchFellow of ICRF Tumour Virus Laboratory, Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge, UK; NHMRCSenior Research Officer, Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research, Department of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; Assistant Professor, Head of Papillomavirus Structure Protein Laboratory,Loyola University Medical School, Chicago, USA; Lions Principal Research Fellow & Head of thePapillomavirus Structure Protein Laboratory, Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research, Department of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital, University of Queensland. From 1992 to 1999, Jian was granted withapproximately twenty (20) research projects and eleven (11) patents.It is clear now that 99.8% of cervical cancer is caused by infection of HPVs, which are small DNA viruses.For decades, scientists, among whom are Jian and his wife Xiaoyi Sun, were working on this virus, but couldnot succeed in culture the virus in the laboratory. It was not until 1991 that Jian and his wife finally expressedthe first HPV virus-like particle in their laboratory! This was a vital contribution to the success of today’scervical cancer vaccine, the application of which has been suggested capable of wiping out the cervical cancer within a generation.However, in real life, Jian was more than just a biologist. In his honour, this collection of memoirs hasrecorded Jian as a dedicated scientist, a devoted son, a loving husband, a caring father and a faithful friend.
Jing Zhou, Brisbane, Australia