Pioneering HIV Researcher Dies

Mark Wainberg, a professor of biology and virology at McGill University, has passed away unexpectedly at age 71.

By | April 13, 2017

Mark Wainberg in 2012YOUTUBE, JEWISH GENERAL HOSPITALMcGill University virologist Mark Wainberg, whose research contributed to the discovery of the antiviral drug lamivudine, died this week (April 11). According to The Globe and Mail, the pioneering HIV researcher is thought to have drowned while he was on vacation in Florida with family. Acting Bal Harbour Police Chief Miguel De La Rosa confirmed Wainberg’s death followed a swim in rough water, CBC News reported. Wainberg was 71.

“Canada and the world have lost a great scientist and a great man,” Julio Montaner of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS told The Globe and Mail.

In 1989, Wainberg and colleagues identified the antiviral properties of lamivudine, also known as 3TC. Today, the drug is used to treat hepatitis B and HIV infection.

Wainberg led the McGill University Aids Centre and was a lead investigator at Jewish General Hospital’s Lady Davis Institute, also in Montreal. He served as president of the International AIDS Society from 1998 to 2000, and advocated for patients with HIV throughout his career. As Medscape noted, “Wainberg was a strong and vocal advocate for people with AIDS and championed providing AIDS-related relief to developing countries.”

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