Spain's top science award to UMBI's Gallo, Montagnier

October 26, 2000

OVIEDO, Capital of Asturias, Spain--Distinguished AIDS researchers Robert C. Gallo, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute (UMBI), and Luc Montagnier of Queen's College, N.Y., received Spain's most prestigious award in science in a ceremony here tonight. For originality and relevance of their scientific work toward the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of the HIV infection and AIDS, Spain's Prince of Asturias Foundation presented the 2000 Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research to Gallo and Montagnier. His Royal Highness Don Felipe, the Prince of Asturias, heir to the Spanish Crown, presided over the ceremony, which was also attended by Her Majesty, the Queen of Spain. Gallo, now director of UMBI's Institute of Human Virology (IHV), and Luc Montagnier, formerly of the Pasteur Institute in France, were the co-discoverers of the AIDS virus in the early-1980s. For over a decade, each has provided leadership in basic science of HIV pathogenicity and biology.

"I am deeply honored and of course very grateful," said Gallo. "I feel this award is a recognition by Spain of the contributions of many outstanding scientists in the field of AIDS research; Dr. Montagnier and I are fortunate to be representative of this research." Stewart Greenebaum, Chairman of the Board for the Baltimore-based IHV, said, "Dr. Gallo's storied history and more recent research has shined a very positive light not just on the Institute and theUniversity of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, but on the city of Baltimore and the State of Maryland as well. We are honored to have someone of his caliber conducting potentially life saving research at our institution."

Gallo is also known for discovering the first human retrovirus, HILV-1 and the second, HTLV-2 which cause certain kinds of leukemia. Gallo is a doctor of Medicine who interned at the University of Chicago before joining the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda, Md. Before joining UMBI, he was head of the NCI laboratory of Tumor Cell Biology. He has over 1,000 scientific journal publications.

"I suspect the foundation has elected to give this recognition now because it serves as a reminder of the great crises we all continue to face with the AIDS epidemic throughout the world. For this I am especially grateful," said Gallo at the ceremony. There are nearly 40 million people now with AIDS, 15,000 new infections every day, and eleven every minute. Since the epidemic began, AIDS has created some 12.1 million orphans in Africa alone.

Gallo founded the IHV in 1996, creating the fifth UMBI research and education center. IHV has taken a unique approach to preventing and treating virus diseases. Under one roof, discoveries from the laboratory are managed all the way through clinical research and out to a community of patients who continue to participate in IHV clinical research and education. In addition to his role as IHV Director, Gallo also leads the basic science division.

"This award is flattering personally, but also reaffirms the work of our entire research group at the Institute, who are involved every day in our goal to find a cure for HIV/AIDS and other deadly viruses," said Gallo, who this week will also receive the Instituto de Salud Carlos III Medal from Spain's Minister of Health, Celia Villalobos.

Since 1998, Gallo has received numerous international awards, including the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize, Germany's most distinguished award in scientific research; and the Warren Alpert Foundation Award from Harvard Medical School. Additionally, Gallo also is the only scientist to twice receive the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award, receiving the basic award in 1982 and the clinical award in 1986.
-end-


University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute

Related Aids Articles from Brightsurf:

Developing a new vaccination strategy against AIDS
Infection researchers from the German Primate Center (DPZ) -- Leibniz Institute for Primate Research have in cooperation with international colleagues tested a new vaccination strategy against the HIV-related simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in rhesus monkeys.

HIV-AIDS: Following your gut
Researchers find a way to reduce replication of the AIDS virus in the gastrointestinal tract.

A path toward ending AIDS in the US by 2025
Using prevention surveillance data to model rates of HIV incidence, prevalence and mortality, investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health set targets, specifically a decrease in new infections to 21,000 by 2020 and to 12,000 by 2025, that would mark a transition toward ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

What does it take for an AIDS virus to infect a person?
Researchers examined the characteristics of HIV-1 strains that were successful in traversing the genital mucosa that forms a boundary to entry by viruses and bacteria.

How AIDS conquered North America
A new technique that allowed researchers to analyze genetic material from serum samples of HIV patients taken before AIDS was known provides a glimpse of unprecedented detail into the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic in North America.

New research could help build better hearing aids
Scientists at Binghamton University, State University of New York want to improve sensor technology critical to billions of devices made every year.

NY State Department of Health AIDS Institute funds HIV/AIDS prevention in high-risk youth
NewYork-Presbyterian's Comprehensive Health Program and Project STAY, an initiative of the Harlem Heath Promotion Center (HHPC) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health has received two grants totaling more than $3.75 million from the New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute for their continued efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS in at-risk youth.

A new way to nip AIDS in the bud
When new HIV particles bud from an infected cell, the enzyme protease activates to help the viruses infect more cells.

AIDS research prize for Warwick academic
A researcher at the University of Warwick has received international recognition for his contribution to AIDS research.

Insects inspire next generation of hearing aids
An insect-inspired microphone that can tackle the problem of locating sounds and eliminate background noise is set to revolutionize modern-day hearing aid systems.

Read More: Aids News and Aids Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.