|April 19, 2017
In Memoriam of Dr. Mark Wainberg
It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Dr. Mark Wainberg. Dr. Wainberg was a Professor of Medicine and Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University and the Director of the McGill AIDS Centre in Montreal. He served as President of the International AIDS Society between 1998-2000 with responsibilities that included organization of the XIII International Congress on AIDS in Durban, South Africa, 2000. He was also co-Chair of the XVI International AIDS Conference that took place in Toronto in August, 2006. He was the recipient of prestigious national and international awards including the Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2000), Officer of the Order of Canada (2001), Officer of the National Order of Quebec (2005), the Chevalier de Légiond’honneur of France (2008), the Killam Prize in Health Sciences (2012), the John G. Fitzgerald - CACMID Outstanding Microbiologist Award (2014),the CSM Murray Award for Career Achievement (2015),inductee to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (2016),along with many others. He was also the recipient of a number of honorary doctorates.
He was among the pioneers in HIV research and has made seminal contributions to the discovery of antiviral drugs that have saved millions of lives. Dr. Wainberg was well-known for his initial identification of 3TC as an anti-viral drug, in collaboration with BioChem Pharma Inc, in 1989, as well as for multiple contributions to the field of HIV drug resistance. Dr. Wainberg realized that the emergence of resistance to these medications is a significant obstacle to successful treatments. His research findings were instrumental in the development and establishment of technologies that would address this problem in the clinic. Dr. Wainberg was also a passionate advocate. He raised awareness and helped to deliver antiviral drugs to those who were in need.
Dr. Wainberg was an author of over 500 research papers and 100 reviews and commentary articles that have appeared in the scientific literature, and was the corresponding author on most of these papers. He was co-Editor-in-Chief of Retrovirology, co-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of the International AIDS Society, and a member of the editorial committees of multiple other journals. More than 30 students have obtained their Ph.D. degrees under his tutelage. He inspired and he motivated, he was brilliant and charming. Mark will be missed by his friends, colleagues, and trainees from all over the world.
Written by two of Dr. Wainberg’s former trainees:
Dr. Matthias Götte, Professor and Chair of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Alberta
Dr. Eric J. Arts, Professor and Chair of Microbiology and Immunology, Western University