- Luc Montagnier
name = Luc Montagnier
caption = Luc Montagnier, 1995
birth_date = 1932
birth_place = Chabris, France
nationality = French
fields = Virology
known_for = Discovery of
awards = 2008
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Luc Montagnier (born August 18, 1932) is a French virologist and joint recipient with
Françoise Barré-Sinoussiand Harald zur Hausenof the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7654214.stm news.bbc.co.uk, Nobel prize for viral discoveries] ] He was born in Chabris.
History of the discovery of HIV
In 1982, he was asked for assistance with establishing the possible underlying retroviral cause of a mysterious new
syndrome, AIDS, by Willy Rozenbaum, a clinician at the "Hôpital Bichat" hospital in Paris. Rozenbaum's role was vital, as he had been openly speculating at scientific meetings that the cause of the disease might be a retrovirus, and it was from a lymph node biopsytaken from one of Rozenbaum's patients that the breakthrough was to come. Jean-Claude Chermannplayed a vital role in the discovery as well.
By 1983, this group of scientists and doctors, headed by Montagnier, had discovered the causative virus. [cite journal |author=Barré-Sinoussi F, Chermann JC, Rey F, Nugeyre MT, Chamaret S, Gruest J, Dauguet C, Axler-Blin C, Vézinet-Brun F, Rouzioux C, Rozenbaum W, Montagnier L |title=Isolation of a T-lymphotropic retrovirus from a patient at risk for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) |journal=Science |volume=220 |issue=4599 |pages=868-871 |year=1983 |pmid=6189183] It was named lymphadenopathy-associated virus, or LAV. A year later, a team led by
Robert Galloof the United Statesconfirmed the discovery of the virus, but renamed it human T-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III). [cite journal |author=Popovic M, Sarngadharan MG, Read E, Gallo RC |title=Detection, isolation, and continuous production of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV-III) from patients with AIDS and pre-AIDS |journal=Science |volume=224 |issue=4648 |pages=497-500 |year=1984 |pmid=6200935]
Montagnier's research was conducted at the
Pasteur Institutein Paris. Whether his or Gallo's group was first to isolate HIVwas for many years the subject of an acrimonious dispute. The controversy arose, in part, from the striking similarity between the first two human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) isolates, Lai/LAV (formerly LAV, isolated at the Pasteur Institute) and Lai/IIIB (formerly HTLV-IIIB, reported to be isolated from a pooled culture at the Laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology (LTCB) of the National Cancer Institute), and the high degree of variability found among subsequent HIV-1 isolates. The controversy included accusations that Gallo improperly used a sample of HIV produced at the Pasteur Institute.
The two scientists continued to dispute each other's claims until 1987. It was not until President Mitterrand of France and President Reagan of the USA met that the major issues were ironed out. The scientific protagonists finally agreed to share credit for the discovery of HIV, and in 1986, both the French and the US names (LAV and HTLV-III) were dropped in favor of the new term "human immunodeficiency virus" (virus de l'immunodéficience humaine, abbreviated HIV or VIH) (Coffin, 1986).They concluded that the origin of the HIV-1 Lai/IIIB isolate discovered by Robert Gallo was the same as that discovered by Montagnier. However, in 2008, the
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicinewas awarded to Montagnier for the discovery of HIV, while Robert Gallo was conspicuously omitted [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/07/health/07nobel.html?hp] . According to Maria Masucci, a member of the Nobel Assembly, “there was no doubt as to who made the fundamental discoveries” [http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/07/health/07nobel.html?hp] .
Montagnier is the co-founder of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention and co-directs the Program for International Viral Collaboration. He has received more than 20 major awards, including the Commandeur de la Légion d'Honneur, the
Lasker Award(1986), the Gairdner Award (1987), King Faisal FoundationInternational Prize (1993) (known as the Arab Nobel Prize), and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine(2008). The latter was awarded to him for the discovery of HIV.
And the band played on
* And the band played on (film)
Beyond Love, a novel by Dominique Lapierre, about the Robert Gallo and Montagnier legal battle and also about virology and sociology of HIV-AIDS, and the role played by Sisters of Charity of Calcutta led by Mother Theresa
HIV trial in Libya
* [http://www.pasteur.fr/ip/easysite/go/03b-000027-00i/the-discovery-of-the-aids-virus-in-1983 The discovery of the AIDS virus in 1983] . Official position of the
* [http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1435029.php/PROFILE_Luc_Montagnier_Francoise_Barre-Sinoussi_-_AIDS_pioneers_ PROFILE: Luc Montagnier, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi - AIDS pioneers]
NAME = Montagnier, Luc
ALTERNATIVE NAMES =
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Joint recipient, 2008
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
DATE OF BIRTH = 1932
PLACE OF BIRTH =
DATE OF DEATH =
PLACE OF DEATH =
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