Luc Montagnier is best known for his 1983 discovery of the human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which has been identified as the
cause of AIDS. This discovery led directly to the development
of a test for detecting the presence of HIV in blood samples.
the years before the onset of the AIDS epidemic, Montagnier made
many significant discoveries concerning the nature of viruses,
and contributed to the understanding of how viruses can alter
the genetic information of host organisms, thereby significantly
advancing cancer research. His investigation of interferon, one
of the body's defenses against viruses, also opened avenues for
medical cures for viral diseases.
was born in Chabris, near Tours, France. He studied natural sciences
at the University of Poitiers and received his license of sciences
from the University of Paris in 1955. In 1960 he qualified for
his doctorate in medicine at the same university. Montagnier became
research director of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
(CNRS) in 1974 and in 1985 rofessor at the Pasteur Institute.
He 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 Legion d'Honneur, the Lasker Award, and the