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2008 Nobel prize for medicine winners meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy
French scientist Dr. Luc Montagnier arrives at the Elysee Palace after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on October 8, 2008. Dr. Montagnier, along with French scientist Francoise Barre-Sinoussi, was recently awarded a share of the 2008 Nobel prize for Medicine for discovering HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The other share of the prize went to German physician-scientist, Dr. Harald zur Hausen for his discovery of HPV, or the human papilloma virus. (UPI Photo/ David Silpa)
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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).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Luc Montagnier."