amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Visionaries

Name: Nolwenn Jouvenet, Ph.D.

Research institution: Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center, New York City

Nationality: French

Nolwenn Jouvenet 

Role: Awarded one of amfAR’s Mathilde Krim Fellowships in 2008

Major Accomplishments 

Only a few months after receiving her amfAR fellowship, Dr. Jouvenet made groundbreaking new findings, using advanced microscopic technology to videotape the birth of new HIV virus particles. This was the first time anyone had witnessed the birth of a virus of any kind.

How significant is this discovery? 

The use of this technique is almost unlimited. Now that we can actually see a virus being born, it gives us the opportunity to answer previously unanswered questions, not only in virology but in biology in general.

How did you react? 

When I was confident I was actually watching the virus in front of me and the live cell assembly, it was really rewarding. It’s really exciting to be the first to discover something.