Today search giant Google is celebrating Greek pioneer Georgios Papanikolaou's 137th Birthday with a colourful doodle. The doodle shows Papanikolaou in his laboratory with a microscope on the table with some books.
Georgios Papanikolaou was a Greek pioneer in cytopathology and early cancer detection and inventor of the life-saving medical test "Pap smear".
Papanikolaou was born in Kymi, Greece and received his medical degree in 1904 from the University of Athens. In 1910, Papanikolaou returned to Athens and married Andromahi Mavrogeni with whom he discovered the life-saving medical test "Pap smear".
Papanikolaou started medical school at age 15, and after graduation served as an army surgeon in the Balkan war. In the year 1913. He moved to the United States to work with New York Hospital and at the Cornell Medical College Cornell. He first reported that uterine cancer could be diagnosed by means of a vaginal smear in 1928.
Papanicolaou was the recipient of the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research in 1950. He was also nominated twice for the Nobel Prize and his portrait appeared on the Greek 10,000 drachma banknote as well as a 1978 U.S. postage stamp.
At a 1928 medical conference in Battle Creek, Michigan, Papanicolaou introduced his low-cost, easily performed screening test for early detection of cancerous and precancerous cells. In 1978, his work was honoured by the U.S. Postal Service with a 13-cent stamp for early cancer detection.
Papanicolaou died on 19 February 1962.