Peter Piot, one of the most famous virologists
Peter Piot was born in 1949 in Keerbergen in Flemish Brabant. He was very interested in mathematics, physics and social injustice from an early age.
In 1974, he completed his medical studies at the University of Ghent and then began a doctorate in microbiology at the University of Antwerp.
Peter Piot has enjoyed international recognition since the 1970s. He co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire (former name for DR Congo) in 1976 and announced the first epidemic of this virus. At that time, he was also at the head of the first HIV research programmes, focusing on sexually transmitted diseases and women's health, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.
In 1992, he joined the WHO's Global Programme on AIDS as Associate Director. The virologist also served as Executive Director of UNAIDS from its inception in 1995 to 2008.
He has taught microbiology and public health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, at ULB and at the University of Nairobi. The Belgian scientist enjoys international recognition, as evidenced by his many titles. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (United States), Senior Fellow at the University of Washington, and a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium, among others.
He is currently Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Chairman of the King Baudouin Foundation. The European Commission has also asked him to advise it on a medical response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Peter Piot is also a prolific author, having written an autobiography, 500 scientific memoirs translated into many languages, and 16 books
Photo © Pieter Morliau/Dutch Wikipedia