Anne SzarewskiBMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5890 (Published 01 October 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5890
- Anne Gulland, London
Cervical cancer was the focus of Anne Szarewski’s research career. She was one of the first to develop an understanding of the link between the human papillomavirus (HPV) and the disease, and how screening for HPV was as important as the routine smear test. In 1995 she led a study showing that testing for the presence of HPV on cells taken during the smear could pick up precancerous abnormalities missed by the routine test.1 More studies followed, and she eventually became the principal investigator on the GlaxoSmithKline team that developed the bivalent HPV vaccine. This was used when the government first introduced routine vaccinations for girls in 2008. In 2012 it was replaced by the quadrivalent vaccine which additionally protects against genital warts.
As soon as the vaccine was introduced, Szarewski called for it to be given to boys as well as girls, telling one interviewer that it was unfair that the responsibility …