Google honors cytopathologist Georgios Papanikolaou with a new Doodle

May 13 (UPI) — Google is celebrating what would have been the 136th birthday of cytopathologist and Pap smear inventor Georgios Papanikolaou with a new Doodle.

Papanikolaou was born on the Greek island of Euboea in 1883. He started medical school at 15 and served as an army surgeon in the Balkan wars before immigrating to the United Sates with his wife Andromachi Mavroyenis in 1913.

The pair initially struggled before Papanikolaou was hired as a researcher at Cornell University where Mavroyenis worked with him as a technician and test subject.

Papanikolaou worked with his wife to develop the Pap smear and held a study involving a group of friends. He detected malignant cells in one test subject, diagnosing her with cervical cancer.

Pap smears are still used today to detect cervical cancer early in women. Papanikolaou received the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Research in 1950, appeared on the Greek 10,000 drachma bank note and appeared on a U.S. postage stamp in 1978. A Miami cancer research institute was also renamed in his honor.

Google’s homepage features artwork of Papanikolaou conducting research inside his lab as he studies a slide near a microscope.

Google on Friday celebrated haematologist and medical researcher Lucy Willis with a Doodle. Wills’ study into prenatal anemia helped improve preventive prenatal care for women.


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