French virologist. Born 1932.

Working at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, Montagnier and his team in 1983 were the first to culture and identify HIV. However, they were overshadowed by the more media-conscious American, Robert Gallo, who had made the same discovery, claiming to have done so independently. It was later revealed that the American virus was genetically identical to the French, proving that Gallo had in fact drawn on the French team's results for his own work. Despite this, Gallo managed to establish himself as the co-discoverer (or, in American minds, the sole discoverer) of the virus.

In 1985, Montagnier and his team isolated a new strain of HIV, dubbed HIV-2, in West Africa.