Interview with Françoise Barré-Sinoussi
It began with wonderment at the flora and fauna of Parisian
parks and ended with a Nobel Prize. But Nobel laureate Françoise Barré-Sinoussi's scientific work is far from over.
Twenty-five years after the discovery of HIV, she devotes all her time to combating the most devastating plague of modern times. When not leading the research being conducted at her laboratory, she is out trying to forge collaborative links with countries in Southeast Asia and Africa, where the epidemic is at its most destructive.
When KI Bladet meets Professor Barré-Sinoussi in her office at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, she is still overwhelmed.
"It still hasn't quite sunk in; I guess I haven't really grasped what's happened," says Professor Barré-Sinoussi, the eighth woman ever to have received the medicine prize.
"No, for one reason or another I never expected to receive the Nobel Prize for the discovery of HIV, especially as there isn't yet any AIDS vaccine. We've made great strides in the development of treatments, but we still haven't got a cure," she says.
She sees the discovery itself as a multi-stage process involving a large number of people - including, not least, the person with whom she shares half of the prize: Luc Montagnier.