Head of the HIV/AIDS research axis, Lady Davis InstituteDirector of the McGill University AIDS Centre
Professor, Medicine, and Microbiology and Immunology, McGill UniversityDr. Mark A. Wainberg is head of AIDS research at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research (LDI), Director of the McGill University AIDS Centre located at the LDI, and Professor of Medicine and of Microbiology and Immunology at McGill University in Montreal. He is an internationally recognized scientist in the field of HIV/AIDS, who served as President of the International AIDS Society between 1998 and 2000 with responsibilities that included organizating the XIIIth International Congress on AIDS in Durban, South Africa in 2000. Dr. Wainberg is proud of the role that he played in choosing South Africa as a venue for this congress, which had an important impact on the issue of access to anti-HIV drugs in developing countries.
He is 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. His laboratory continues to work in the fields of drug resistance and drug development. As well, Dr. Wainberg has turned his attention to novel concepts in the prevention of HIV infection in developing countries, such as vaginal microbicides and pre-exposure prophylaxis. He was Co-Chair of the XVIth International AIDS Conference that took place in Toronto in 2006. Dr. Wainberg is a member of numerous international advisory committees in the field of AIDS. Among other distinctions, he is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Canada, an officer of the Ordre National du Québec, an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and a Chevalier in the Legion d’Honneur of France.
Major Research Activities
Dr. Wainberg’s lab conducts cutting-edge research on differences among various HIV subtypes in regard to the development of drug resistance and the deeper mechanistic bases of these differences. This is important as HIV variability is widespread, with fewer than 10-percent of all new infections worldwide attributable to subtype B viruses, which remains the predominant type in North America. Based in large part on Dr. Wainberg’s data, the World Health Organization recently removed one of the most popular anti-HIV drugs in the world from the recommended list, as it was found to promote the rapid onset of drug resistance.
Dr. Wainberg’s laboratory is also studying the use of anti-retroviral drugs to prevent the transmission of HIV, while exploring whether drug resistance and the creation of drug-resistant viruses might be a negative consequence of this preventive approach.
Coutsinos D, Invernizzi CF., Moisi D, Oliveira M, Martinez-Cajas JL., Brenner BG. and Wainberg MA. A template-dependent dislocation mechanism potentiates K65R reverse transcriptase mutation development in subtype C variants of HIV-1. Plos One. 2011. 6(5)e20208 (p1-16).
Sloan R, Kuhl B, Donahue DA, Roland A, Bar-Magen T, Wainberg MA. Transcription of preintegrated HIV-1 cDNA modulates cell surface expression of MHC-I via Nef. J. Virol. 2011. 85:2628-2636.
Brenner BG, Roger M, Stephens D, Moisi D, Hardy I, Weinberg J, Turgel R, Charest H, Koopman J, Wainberg MA and the Montreal PHI Cohort Study Group. Transmission clustering drives the onward spread of the male-sex-male (MSM) HIV-1 epidemic in Quebec. J. Inf. Dis. 2011; 83(5):751-9.