Prof recognised as 'Ebola Fighter'

Known for his co-discovery of the deadly Ebola virus, Professor Peter Piot (below), 67, is the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

In 1976, the microbiologist co-discovered the Ebola virus while working at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and was part of a team that investigated the first known outbreak in Zaire (now known as the Republic of Congo). Prof Piot went on to lead research on Aids and the human immunodeficiency (HIV) virus, sexually transmitted diseases and women's health, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, and he was founding director of UNAids.

In 2014, Time magazine named Prof Piot, among other "Ebola Fighters", as Time Person of the Year. In an interview with the magazine, Prof Piot recalled how he and a colleague had received a thermos which contained vials of blood samples from a Catholic nun who had died of haemorrhagic symptoms. They then introduced it into baby mice, only to find that some mice started dying.

Prof Piot has a medical degree from the University of Ghent, and a PhD in microbiology from the University of Antwerp. He has published more than 580 scientific articles and 17 books, including memoir No Time To Lose in 2012.

Carolyn Khew

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 14, 2016, with the headline 'Prof recognised as 'Ebola Fighter''. Print Edition | Subscribe