Peter Piot

No time to lose

A life in pursuit of deadly viruses

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PETER PIOT is Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Professor of Global Health. He was formerly Under Secretary General of the United Nations and founding Executive Director of UNAIDS, and President of the International AIDS Society. In 1995, he was knighted as a Baron in his native Belgium.

Dr Piot has a medical degree from the University of Ghent (1974), and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Antwerp (1980). In 1976 he co-discovered the Ebola virus in Zaire while working at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium. He was a professor of microbiology, and of public health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, the Free University of Brussels, and the University of Nairobi, was a Senior Fellow at the University of Washington, a Scholar in Residence at the Ford Foundation, and a Senior Fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. From 1991 to 1994 he was president of the International AIDS Society. He held the chair 2009/2010 "Knowledge against poverty" at the College de France in Paris, and is a visiting professor at the London School of Economics.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and was elected a foreign member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences, and is also an elected member of the Académie Nationale de Médicine of France, and of the Royal Academy of Medicine of his native Belgium, and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. He is the President of the King Baudouin Foundation, was knighted as a Baron in his native Belgium in 1995, and published over 500 scientific articles and 16 books.

By the time we left for Yambuku we had heard of well over a hundred fatalities. My natural scepticism began to fall away.
Peter Piot
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