Nubia Muñoz


Development Cooperation

10th Edition

The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Development Cooperation category goes, in this tenth edition, to the Colombian epidemiologist Nubia Muñoz, whose work was instrumental in establishing that infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) is the principal and necessary cause of cervical cancer. Her studies played a catalytic role in the development of anti-virus vaccines capable of preventing 70% of all cervical cancers, a disease where 80% of cases involve women in developing countries.


The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Development Cooperation goes, in this tenth edition, to Nubia Muñoz.

Cervical cancer causes around 250,000 deaths per year. Its incidence varies greatly worldwide, but 80 percent of cases affect women of developing countries. The research of Dr. Nubia Muñoz has been instrumental in establishing the link between infection with the human papillomavirus and the development of cervical cancer. Her work has been a true catalyst for vaccine development, and its subsequent application throughout the world, including the most affected countries. In fact, this was the first vaccine specifically targeting the prevention of cancer.

Dr. Nubia Muñoz also represents the leading role that women are having in science, and the role of science and knowledge in improving the life of women in developing countries, and thus promoting development.