Luc Antoine Montagnier (born 18 August 1932 in Chabris, France) is a French virologist and joint recipient with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Harald zur Hausen of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine., for his co-discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
In 1982, he was asked for assistance with establishing the possible underlying retroviral cause of a mysterious new syndrome, AIDS, by Willy Rozenbaum, a clinician at the Hôpital Bichat hospital in Paris. Rozenbaum's role was vital, as he had been openly speculating at scientific meetings that the cause of the disease might be a retrovirus, and it was from a lymph node biopsy taken from one of Rozenbaum's patients that the breakthrough was to come. Jean-Claude Chermann played a vital role in the discovery as well.
By 1983, this group of scientists and doctors, headed by Montagnier, had discovered the causative virus, but did not know whether it caused AIDS. It was named lymphadenopathy-associated virus, or LAV. A year later, a team led by Robert Gallo of the United States confirmed the discovery of the virus and that it caused AIDS, and renamed it human T-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III).