(photo credit: Yoni Reif/BIU)
Prof. Luc A. Montagnier, the French virologist who was co-discoverer of the AIDS virus (HIV) and shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, will become a permanent visiting professor at Bar-Ilan University’s new Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee opening in October.
BIU president Prof. Moshe Kaveh made the surprise announcement on Wednesday at a ceremony in which Montagnier received the 2011 Dr. Tovi Comet-Walerstein C.A.I.R. Institute Science Award.
“I’m very deeply moved by the warm reception I’ve received at Bar-Ilan University,” the virologist told an audience that included leading academics and prominent members of Israel’s scientific and medical communities, as well as French Ambassador Christophe Bigot, science attaché Dr. Eric Seboun and Prof. Ran Tur-Kaspa, dean of the Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee.
Montagnier lectured on “DNA Radiowaves: Impact on Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Diseases,” in which he has conducted research in France and Africa over the past five years.
“You were our unanimous choice for this award, since you were the first
to isolate HIV and bring evidence that it is the causative agent of
AIDS,” Prof. Benjamin Sredni, director of BIU’s C.A.I.R. Institute, told
Montagnier. “If you discovered HIV, you must now cure HIV.”
The Dr. Tovi Comet-Walerstein Science Award was established in memory of
Dr. Tovi Comet-Walerstein, a US-born medical researcher who succumbed
to breast cancer two decades ago at the age of 38. On Tuesday, BIU also
awarded an honorary doctorate to Montagnier for his pathblazing research
on HIV, which has paved the way for effective diagnosis and treatment
A feature on Tur-Kaspa and the new medical faculty in Safed will appear on Sunday’s Health Page.