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Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum  

Congolese Microbiologist; Known for his Ebola Discovery, Prevention & Treatment

Jean-Jacques Muyembe is a Congolese microbiologist. He is the General Director of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Institut National pour la Recherche Biomedicale (INRB). He was part of team at the Yambuku Catholic Mission Hospital that investigated the first Ebola outbreak, and was part of the effort that discovered Ebola as a new disease, although his exact role is still subject to controversy. In 2016, he led the research that designed, along with other researchers at the INRB and the National Institute of Health Vaccine Research Center in the US, one of the most promising treatment for Ebola, mAb114. The treatment was successfully experimented during recent outbreaks in the DRC, on the express decision of the then DRC Minister of Health, Dr Oly Ilunga, despite a prior negative advice from the World Health Organization.

In 2015 he was awarded the Christophe Mérieux Prize to study further research in the Congo Basin. That year he was awarded the Royal Society Africa Prize "for his seminal work on viral haemorrhagic fevers, including Ebola, generating the foundation of our understanding of the epidemiology, clinical manifestations and control of outbreaks of these viral infections". He was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 International Symposium on Filoviruses. He was named as one of Nature's 10 in 2018 and 2019. In 2019 he won the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize from the Government of Japan. Muyembe is included in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2020.

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