Google pays tribute to Greek inventor of smear test


Monday’s Google Doodle paid tribute to Georgios Papanikolaou, the Greek medic and researcher who invented the smear test to detect early signs of cervical and uterine cancer.

The doodle, an illustration of him inspecting cells under a microscope, was available in 12 countries around the world.

Born in the coastal town of Kymi on Evia in 1883, Papanikolaou was admitted to the Athens School of Medicine at the age of 15. He graduated in 1904 and six years later received a postgraduate degree from the University of Munich.

In 1913, he and his wife moved to the United States. He soon found work at New York Hospital and at Cornell Medical College at Cornell University.

In 1928, Papanikolaou discovered that he was able to detect uterine cancer through a vaginal smear, but it would take another 15 years for his work to be published and for the medical community to overcome its reservations.

The Greek scientist moved to Miami, Florida, in 1961. He died of a heart attack a year later.