The staff and management of the CTN extend our heartfelt condolences on the sudden passing of Dr. Mark Wainberg. Mark was a colleague, a friend and mentor to many within our Network. We will remember someone who was not only a leading international HIV researcher but also an advocate for treatment access in the developing world. Beyond being a serious scientist and advocate, he exuded warmth and had a wonderful sense of humour that made us all feel at ease. We will miss him dearly.
Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Wainberg and his collaborators were the first to identify the antiviral capabilities of 3TC or lamivudine in 1989 that is still used to treat HIV. His work also contributed to the field of anti-HIV drug resistance and helped to identify many of the mutations responsible for drug resistance.
Dr. Wainberg was involved with the CTN since the beginning, first as chair of the Scientific Review Committee (1991-1998), then as the chair of the Steering Committee (1998-2008). After 2008, he remained on the Steering Committee as a member at large. He was also member of the Postdoctoral Fellowship Adjudication Committee and continued to train and mentor new investigators.
From 1998 to 2000, Dr. Wainberg was president of the International AIDS Society and organized the XIII International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa that highlighted issues on treatment access in the developing world. He was co-chair of the XVI International AIDS Conference held in Toronto and a past president of the Canadian Association for HIV Research. He also organized the annual conference “les Journées Québécoises sur le VIH” in Montreal to ensure that francophone researchers could connect and collaborate.
He was a member of numerous international advisory committees including several of the World Health Organization. Among other distinctions and numerous awards for his work, he was a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Canada, an officer of the Ordre National du Québec, an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, a Chevalier in the Legion d’Honneur of France and a 2016 inductee into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.
Mark was a trail blazer and his sudden passing will leave a gap in the HIV research world. His loss is significant to all of us.
We sincerely express our condolences to his family, his research team at the Lady Davis Institute and to his colleagues and collaborators in Canada and across the globe.
CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network
April 13, 2017