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Word for Word

23 May 2014

Meet the Woman who discovered HIV – Nobel Laureate Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

Health, News & Politics, Society & Culture

Conférence de presse du prix Nobel Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, AIDS 2014 International Chair and International AIDS Society (IAS) President

Professor Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, PhD, is the Director of the “Regulation of Retroviral Infections” Unit, at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. She has been involved in retrovirology research, since the early 1970s.

She is recognized for her contributions to HIV/AIDS research, in particular as the first author of the publication that reported in 1983 the discovery of a retrovirus, later named HIV, in a patient at risk for AIDS. In 1988, she became responsible of her own laboratory at the Institute Pasteur and initiated research programmes on viral and host determinants of HIV/AIDS pathogenesis.

Between 1988 and 1998, she was also implicated in collaborative programmes on HIV vaccine research, using primate models. Today, the research programmes of her team are focused on mechanisms required to induce a protection against HIV/SIV infection and/or against AIDS in human and non human primates.

Along with her research activities, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi has been strongly implicated in promoting integration between HIV/AIDS research and actions in resource limited countries, in particular through the Institute Pasteur International Network and the coordination of the ANRS research programmes in Cambodia and Vietnam, according to her strong commitment in building capacity, training and technology transfers on site in Africa and Asia.

Through her career, she received more than 10 national or international awards, including the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2008 for her contributions to HIV/AIDS. She was also awarded Doctor Honoris Causa of a number of universities. In February 2009 she was elected a member of the French Academy of Science and in November 2009 she was confirmed as the next President-Elect of the IAS, and took office in July 2012.

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