Scientist of the Year
Dr. Jacques Pépin named
Last Thursday, Dr. Jacques Pépin, an infectious disease doctor and epidemiologist working out of the CHUS, was named the Scientist of the Year 2011 by the team from the Radio-canada science radio show Les
Annees lumiere. He received the award for his important contribution to shed light on the origin of AIDS and HIV. Radio-canada awards the title to a person or a team that stood out during the year either by a remarkable discovery or publication of national or international importance.
Dr. Pépin published a widely acclaimed book last November, entitled The Origin of Aids, which not only
captured the attention of the team at Radio-canada, but also that of the scientific community and the international media. It has been praised by AIDS experts since its release. A comprehensive feature article about the new book appeared in the New York Times and can be found on the internet.
The book sheds light on the origins of the disease in humans at the beginning of the 20th century and how it spread in Africa. It also explains the role played by public health campaigns and prostitution in the spreading of the disease which has killed more than 29 million people. Since its publication, Dr. Pépin seems to have become the ‘go-to’ expert on the origin of AIDS by the international media.
In awarding Dr. Pépin this title, the team from Radio-canada has recog- Dr. Jacques Pépin (left) was happy to receive the Scientist of the Year award from Louis Lalande, Radio-canada’s vice-president of French Services. nized the fruit of the intensive, detailed research of the doctor and the originality of his work. In effect, it took seven years of work for Dr. Pépin to gather the historical documents needed to write the book. Originally, he planned to write only about 3000 words on the subject!
The Origin of Aids is not only a historical book; it is also a cautionary tale for the medical community. AIDS and HIV has spread not only through sexual activity, but also by doctors and nurses fighting disease in Africa through public health campaigns. Dr. Pépin believes that the medical world must learn from this tragic story if it wants to avoid future pandemics.
Dr. Serge Marchand, the Director of the CHUS’
is also proud of the accomplishments of his colleague: “His scientific interest, his original approach and his rigorous methodology allowed him to make this remarkable breakthrough. These same qualities also allowed him to make progress in our fight against Clostridium difficile in the past, contributions for which all of Quebec society should be grateful. Dr Pépin is an example to all of his students.”
Besides his practice at the CHUS, Dr. Pépin is the chief professor of the
jean.rousseau. firstname.lastname@example.org Microbiology Department of the Faculty of Health Science and Medicine at the Université de Sherbrooke, a researcher at the CHUS’ Centre de recherche Clinique Etienne Le Bel and the director of the international health centre of the Université de Sherbrooke. Dr. Pépin also practised medicine for many years in Africa.
Dr. Jacques Pépin, of the CHUS, was named RadioCanada Scientist of the Year 2011 for his important contribution to the world of medicine, particularly with his book The Origin of AIDS.