Biography of Prof. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum: The Pioneer of Ebola Cure
Prof. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum, has achieved a feat of a lifetime, discovered cure for Ebola virus.
“From now on, we will no longer say that Ebola is incurable. These advances will help save thousands of lives. Now that 90 per cent of patients can go into the treatment centre and come out completely cured, they will start believing it and building trust in the population and community.” Said Prof. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum, the pioneer of the cure for the deadly Ebola virus. The names of the drugs are REGN-EB3 and mAb114.
This is a brief biography of Prof. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum.
He is a Congolese. He is from the Democratic Republic of Congo
He is a medical doctor
He was born in March 17, 1947. He is 77 years
He studied Medicine in the the Lovanium University (present day University of Kinshasha), DR Congo and had his PhD in Virology in the University of Leuven, Belgium
He is a professor of Virology
He was a one time Dean of Medicine, University of Kinshasha.
He is reported to have investigated the first Ebola outbreak alongside Peter Piot.
In his first contact with an Ebola patient, he didn’t wear hand gloves. Blood spilled on his hands, but he washed them off immediately and survived the virus. According to him, “If I had not washed my hands I would have died”.
He has been quarantined several times over his frequent contact with the virus
He is General Director of the Democratic Republic of the Congo National Institute for Biomedical Research. A position he has held since 1998
He is described as the “Ebola hunter” because he has dedicated his life to the eradication of Ebola from he face of the earth.
He first came across ebola virus in 1976 at a Belgian hospital in Yambuku, DRC. Using a long steel rod, Muyembe took liver biopsies from three nuns who had died, but the results were inconclusive.
Prof. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum was the first scientist to come into contact with the Ebola virus and survive.
He has chaired the international committees that looked to control the Ebola outbreaks in Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
He was the first to link the spread of Ebola virus to fruit bats exposure.
He pioneered the use of an ebola vaccine to limit the spread of the virus, including vaccinating health care providers.
Prof Muyembe was the first to develop the anti-ebola serum therapy.
Apart from Ebola virus, he has done numerous researches on Marburg virus, cholera, trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), influenza, polio, Congo virus, Rift valley fever and Lassa fever.
He has been looking for the cure for Ebola since 1976!
He has received numerous accolades and awards among the list with dates are: 1996 Chevalier de l’Ordre National de Léopard (National Distinguishing Award), Zaire, 1996. 2001 Paul Harris Fellow of the Rotary International. 2004 National Gold Medal for High Achievement in Science, Art, and Literature. 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, 7th International Symposium on Filoviruses (Washington). 2015 Christophe Mérieux Prize (Paris). 2015 Royal Society Pfizer Advanced Award (London). 2017 Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Lubumbashi (DRC). 2017 Honorary International Fellow, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). 2018 U.S.Patent No.10,160,795 issued December 25, 2018 for Neutralizing Antibodies To Ebola Virus Glycoprotein And Their Use; 2019 (May) Doctor Honoris Causa, University of Antwerp (Belgium)
Speaking to BBC news after the heart warming breakthrough, Prof. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum, described the feat as “achievement of a lifetime”.
Please note that this article does not rule out or in any way diminish the contributions of other scientists in achieving this medical feat. It is a teamwork and I as a doctor 100 percent recognize this. It is not a one man glory.
#Science has not started yet# This is just the beginning!