DURBAN, April 16– The French scientist who discovered the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is joining the advisory board of one of the world’s leading research bodies, the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa based in Durban.
Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and her mentor, Luc Montagnier, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2008, for their ground-breaking discovery. Barre-Sinoussi says that she will now lend her over 30 years of experience with HIV/AIDS research to CAPRISA.
“I’m more involved in pathogenesis in trying to understand all the hosts and viral factors that play a role in the development of the disease and what can be controlling this interaction between the host and the virus. I’m looking forward to seeing the progress in that area, and I’ve been working myself in the past on the HIV vaccine so I’m also interested in that,” she says.
CAPRISA on Tuesday also announced here an exciting visiting lectureship programme to the tune of 200 million Rand (about 16.6 million US dollars), which its two leaders, Professors Salim Abdool Karim and Quarriasha Abdool-Karim, will both be contributing funds won from recent awards.
Professor Quarriasha says giving back to science means so much. “We thought what would be the best use of the money?”
“We had this idea about setting up that eminent lectureship using the funds we received in honour of three mentors who played a very important role in our lives that have shaped who we are as scientists. This really epitomises the nexus between scientific excellence and the nexus with advocacy efforts to bridge these major disparities that face us particularly in health,” says Professor Karim.