It was with great sadness that I learnt of the sad passing of Dr A Bennett (Ben) Jenson who died peacefully at the age of 80 on December 23rd 2019 in Louisville Kentucky. Ben was a major figure in the papillomavirus community who performed crucial studies in the 1990’s using the canine oral papillomavirus (COPV) animal model, a mucosa-trophic papillomavirus of dogs He and his collaborators demonstrated that immunisation with COPV L1 VLPs completely protected against high dose COPV challenge and the development of oral warts. These were crucial studies in the development of prophylactic HPV vaccines providing proof of principle that systemic immunisation with L1 VLPs could protect against papilloma virus infection of squamous mucosal surfaces.
Ben had a great and sometimes, wicked sense of humour, accompanied by an irresistible twinkle in his eye but also a kind heart and generous spirit. He had a fine thinking mind that looked for innovative approaches to papillomavirus science. He was by training and profession a Board Certified histopathologist and this fundamental understanding of disease processes and how they presented informed his scientific work. He was a personal friend and one who made very significant contributions to our field. He will be sadly missed, he is a loss to us all.