Montreal AIDS researcher honoured
Pioneering AIDS researcher Mark Wainberg has been elected a Fellow of the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science “for distinguished contributions to HIV drug development,” among other achievements.
Wainberg, director of the McGill AIDS Centre, has been credited for his 1989 work with BioChem Pharma in the identification of 3TC as an anti-viral drug. The AAAS also lauded the 66-year-old Wainberg for “striving to make HIV drug access a reality for all.”
In addition to his research, Wainberg has been known to take strong stands publicly on policy issues involving AIDS and HIV. In 2006, he criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper for snubbing an international AIDS conference that he co-chaired in Toronto.
Two years later, Wainberg urged both the Canadian Red Cross and Héma Quebec to lift their lifetime bans on gay men from donating blood. He argued that the current nucleic acid test that screens for HIV in donated blood is 10,000 times more sensitive than the serological tests used in the 1980s, when the ban came into force.
Wainberg, a former director of the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital, will be formally recognized at the AAAS Fellows Forum on February 18 at the organization’s annual meeting in Vancouver.
Founded in 1848, the AAAS is considered the world’s largest general scientific society. It includes 262 affiliated societies and academies of science. Its publication, Science, has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed scientific journal, with a readership of about one million.