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Françoise Barré-Sinoussi

Born July 30, 1947 (1947-07-30) (age 62)
Paris, France
Nationality French
Fields Virology
Institutions Pasteur Institute
Known for Discovering HIV
Notable awards 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (born 30 July 1947) is a French virologist and director of the Unité de Régulation des Infections Rétrovirales at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France. Born in Paris, France, Barré-Sinoussi performed some of the fundamental work in the identification of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the cause of AIDS. In 2008, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, together with her boss Luc Montagnier, for their discovery of HIV.[1]


Academic career

The human T-cell leukemia type-1 virus (HTLV-1), and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Barré-Sinoussi joined the Pasteur Institute in Paris in the early 1970s. Her research quickly turned to a particular group of viruses, the retroviruses. Her knowledge in this field led her to discover the AIDS virus in 1983. This discovery showed the urgent need of diagnostic tests to control the disease. She works on the impact of the innate defences of the host in controlling HIV/AIDS, as well as mother-to-child transmission. She has co-authored over 200 scientific publications, has participated in over 250 international conferences, and has trained many young researchers.

Barré-Sinoussi has actively contributed to several scientific societies and committees at the Institut Pasteur as well as to other AIDS organizations, such as the National Agency for AIDS Research in France. She has also been implicated at an international level, notably as a consultant to the WHO and the UNAIDS-HIV.

Since the 1980s, Barré-Sinoussi has initiated collaborations with developing countries whereby she has managed multidisciplinary networks with dedication. She constantly works on establishing permanent links between basic research and clinical research with the aim of achieving concrete improvements in the areas of prevention, clinical care, and treatment.[2]

In 2009, she wrote an open letter to Pope Benedict XVI in protest over his statements that condoms are at best ineffective in the AIDS crisis. [3]


Barré-Sinoussi shared the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Luc Montagnier and Harald zur Hausen, who discovered the viral cause of cervical cancer that led to the development of HPV vaccine. She also received a honorary Doctor of Science degree from Tulane University in May 2009.


See also

External links



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