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Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier

Prince of Asturias Award for Technical & Scientific Research 2000

The Jury for the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research 2000, convened in Oviedo, comprising José Luis Álvarez Margaride, María del Carmen Andrade Perdrix, Manuel Cardona, Luis Fernández-Vega Sanz, María del Carmen Maroto Vela, Gabriela Morreale, Rafael Nájera Morrondo, César Nombela, Fernando Ortiz Maslloréns, Rafael Puyol, Julio Rodríguez Fernández, Francisco Sevilla, Guillermo Suárez Fernández, Raúl Villar, chaired by Julio Rodríguez Villanueva and with José Antonio Martínez-Álvarez as secretary has unanimously agreed to grant the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research to the researchers Robert C. Gallo and Luc Montagnier, in recognition of the originality, quality and scope of their scientific work, and of its practical importance for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the HIV infection and AIDS.

In his search for the agents that cause leukemias in the human species, the researcher Robert Gallo conceived and developed in his laboratory methods which led to the discovery of the first human retrovirus - HTLV1 and HTLV2 - agents for certain types of leukemia.

Professor Luc Montaigner described the first AIDS virus, known at the time as LAV, which was later accepted as the first HIV1. He then went on to also describe HIV-2. He has made a major contribution to our knowledge of programmed cell death and apoptosis.

Both scientists discovered the type 1 human immunodeficiency virus, or AIDS virus, and developed the laboratory tests required to diagnose the illness and control hematic products. This breakthroughs play a major role in controlling epidemics that affect over 50 million people in large geographic areas and that significantly alter their economies and demography.

Oviedo, 17th May 2000

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