An Ingoldsby professor has received a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in recognition of his pivotal role in HIV Research.
Professor Ian Weller has been involved in the development of treatment against AIDS ever since the HIV virus was first discovered, travelling to New York in 1983 to attend the first course on combatting the epidemic.
On receiving the Knighthood, Professor Weller, said: “I was very surprised. It’s not something I’d ever thought about. I’ve just got on with my work, which has been extremely rewarding.
“Behind this accolade there are hundreds of unsung heroes. The reason I’ve got to this position has been because of all those who work every hour God sends to look after AIDS patients.”
Professor Weller’s research career took him from London’s Royal Free Hospital where he was a UK medical research council training fellow, to University College London as Wellcome Trust senior lecturer in infectious diseases. He then became professor of sexually transmitted diseases at UCL, and is now professor emeritus, continuing a special interest in international research in HIV and AIDS.
It was in 2003 that he was first invited to take part in a medical trial in Africa. He continues to be chair of the steering committees of five international HIV/AIDS trials in Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and Kenya.
His many roles also include being chairman of the International Congress of Drug Therapy in HIV infection, a biennial meeting of 2,500 people with the aim of furthering research and funding into vital medical roles tackling HIV/AIDS.
The 65-year-old has lived in Ingoldsby since 1996, and is grateful for the support from his wife Darryl, his children and his parents. “The hardest thing was not being able to tell them, although I think they knew something was up.”