The McGill AIDS Centre was founded at the Lady Davis Institute, Jewish General Hospital to coordinate, facilitate, and promote teaching, research, and treatment activities relating to HIV infection and AIDS. It has made McGill University one of the preeminent institutions of its kind in Canada. Led by founding director, Dr. Mark A. Wainberg, the McGill AIDS Centre has made significant contributions since the outbreak of the AIDS pandemic in 1981, helping to transform HIV from a deadly infection to a manageable chronic disease.
The Centre believes in a multidisciplinary approach, and has been the home of a large group of talented McGill researchers who have been working on HIV from diverse aspects with the goal of furthering prevention and treatment options. We are proud of the many groundbreaking discoveries that we have made in understanding the basic biology of HIV infection, elucidating host immune responses to control HIV infection, discovering the transmission of drug-resistant HIV in human populations, and characterizing the development of drug resistance to HIV, to name just a few examples of the initiatives that have earned the McGill AIDS Centre a national and international reputation. In particular, Dr. Wainberg became an icon in the International AIDS Society (IAS). As President of the IAS from 1998 to 2000, he was responsible for holding the 2000 IAS meeting in Durban, South Africa, a milestone event in the international fight against AIDS. He chaired the 2006 IAS meeting in Toronto. Dr. Wainberg’s lab discovered the anti-HIV-1 activity of 3TC in the early 1990s and, recently, demonstrated the superior anti-HIV-1 activity of Dolutegravir. Both of these drugs are now used in first line antiretroviral regimens.
McGill AIDS Centre scientists have played an important role in developing countries where HIV is endemic, collaborating with local scientists and health authorities to help stave off the spread of the infection. Our scientists have played lead roles in articulating a need for access to antiretroviral drugs for all in need, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay.
Over the past three decades, the McGill AIDS Centre has built a strong team of excellent researchers and clinicians who have broad expertise in basic virology, immunology, drug discovery, epidemiology, population studies, and clinical research. Based at the Lady Davis Institute are the level 3 biocontainment facility, genotyping platform and other state-of-the-art research equipment that can be readily employed to study other emerging and re-emerging pathogenic human viruses.
Educational and training activities will be augmented to ensure there is sufficient manpower for the growing HIV epidemic. The care and treatment of persons who are infected with HIV or who have developed AIDS will be enhanced through coordination across the McGill network of hospitals and clinics. Furthermore, the Centre will provide a forum for the input and participation of patients with HIV infection or AIDS in all aspects of research, teaching, and care.
In honor of Dr. Mark Wainberg, for his dedication to HIV research, his tireless advocacy for the rights and benefits of HIV patients, and his vision to go beyond HIV to combat other important emerging pathogenic human viruses, the McGill AIDS Centre will be renamed the “Wainberg Centre for Complex and Emerging Viral Infections.” More details will follow.
Chen Liang, PhD
McGill AIDS Centre
Lady Davis Institute at the Jewish General Hospital
3999 Cote Ste-Catherine Road, Room F-318
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3T 1E2Tel.: 514-340-7536Fax: 514-340-7537