- Luc Montagnier, who won a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering HIV, dies at age 89.
- Montagnier shared half of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine with fellow French scientist Francoise Barre-Sinoussi.
- He caused controversy in 2020 by saying he believed the coronavirus originated in a Chinese lab.
PARIS: French virologist Luc Montagnier, who won a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS, has died, French news agency AFP reported on Thursday.
Montagnier, who was 89, shared half of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine with fellow French scientist Francoise Barre-Sinoussi for their role in discovering the virus. The other half went to German cancer researcher Harald zur Hausen.
Montagnier, who sparked controversy in 2020 by saying he believed the coronavirus was created in a Chinese lab, was born in France in 1932 and received his PhD in virology from the University of Paris.
He later became director of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention in Paris.
In the years before the start of the AIDS epidemic, Montagnier had made important discoveries about the nature of viruses and contributed to the understanding of how viruses can alter the genetic information of host organisms.
His research into interferon, one of the body’s defense mechanisms against viruses, also opened avenues for medical treatments for viral diseases.