Luc Montagnier, a French virologist who was credited with co-discovering the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), passed away at the age of 89. Montagnier shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2008 for his work isolating the Aids virus.
Luc Montagnier was praised for this study, but he was chastised afterwards for making unfounded statements concerning autism and Covid-19. He died on Tuesday in Neuilly-sur-Seine “surrounded by his children,” according to local news site France-Soir.
In the early 1980s, while working at France’s Pasteur Institute, a non-profit research centre, the virologist began researching on the virus.
Luc Montagnier and his colleagues studied tissue samples from individuals with an unexplained new illness, including Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, who would later share the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with him.
They were able to isolate HIV in an Aids patient’s lymph node and reported their findings in the journal Science in 1983.
Similar discoveries were reported in the same publication by US scientist Robert Gallo, who ultimately established that the virus was the source of Aids. Years of fierce discussion erupted about who was the first to discover HIV.
Gallo stated in 1991 that the virus he identified originated at the Pasteur Institute the previous year, and the two doctors officially agreed in 2002 that Montagnier’s lab discovered HIV, although Gallo was the first to demonstrate its function in Aids.
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