Chinese university recruits HIV pioneer Montagnier

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A Chinese university said Saturday it had recruited Luc Montagnier, the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine who jointly discovered the virus that causes AIDS.

Jiaotong University in Shanghai said the celebrated 78-year-old would lead a team of researchers and a "Montagnier Insititute" would be created as part of its the sciences faculty.

Montagnier's appointment was formalised in a ceremony on November 18, according to a statement from the university.

In 1983, Montagnier and fellow French researcher Francoise Barre-Sinoussi discovered the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS by destroying the body's ability to make antibodies.

Montagnier has spent 25 years battling the scourge of HIV/AIDS and reacted furiously when forced by French law to retire at the age of 65, warning that such legislation could lead to a brain drain from France.

© 2010 AFP

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