News: HIV/AIDS Pioneer Mark Wainberg Passes Away
Photo Credits: McGill Reporter
World-renowned Canadian scientist and HIV/AIDS researcher Dr. Mark A. Wainberg passed away Tuesday afternoon, April 11, following an asthma attack he suffered while swimming in Bal Harbour beach, Florida. His death was ruled accidental.
Dr. Wainberg, 71, was part of the team that discovered Lamivudine in 1989, an antiretroviral drug commonly known as 3TC that is used to treat patients with HIV/AIDS. His tireless work and valuable contribution in terms of research and advocacy had earned him recognition and honors throughout the world. He was conferred with Canada’s highest civilian honor ‘Officer of the Order of Canada’ in 2001 for his “major contributions to the study and treatment of the infection.” According to the award citation, Dr. Wainberg was “the first to identify the anti-HIV properties of the drug 3TC that is used in the treatment of AIDS and among the first to recognize the concept of HIV drug resistance.”
In 2008, Dr. Wainberg was named Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, the highest honor in France. While in 2014, he was recipient of the John G. Fitzgerald – CACMID Outstanding Microbiologist Award, a prestigious award recognizing Canadian Microbiologists who “have significantly advanced the field of medical microbiology through their contributions to clinical, academic, and/or educational pillars.”
Dr. Wainberg was a professor in medicine, microbiology, and immunology in McGill University where he was Director of its AIDS Centre as well. He was also lead investigator of AIDS research at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, the research arm of Jewish General Hospital located in Montreal.
His friends and colleagues remember Dr. Wainberg both as a brilliant researcher and a passionate person who helped fight the stigma and discrimination surrounding the disease by championing HIV and AIDS education. He was also known for securing support around the world for AIDS research and treatment.
His funeral was held last Friday in Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Congregation at 6519 Baily Road in Côte-Saint-Luc, CBC News reports.