Indian origin HIV biologist Professor Ravindra Gupta is one of the 100 influential personalities listed by the Times magazine for 2020. He is the professor of Clinical Microbiology and Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Clinical Science at The University of Cambridge and faculty at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban, South Africa.
“I’m so fortunate and humbled to know him, and to see how his dedication can conquer this disease,” wrote Adam Castillejo in his brief about the professor in Times magazine. Known as the London Patient, Castillejo is the second person ever to be functionally cured of HIV.
Castillejo recalls his first meeting with Gupta and says he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ on seeing him. “He was thoughtful and compassionate, and his accomplishments—now including oversight of the stem-cell treatments I received from a donor with a rare gene mutation, which led to my remission—clearly earned him respect and admiration from his colleagues in the HIV research community. Now he has mine, as well,” the London Patient writes.
“He has championed me and empowered me to become an ambassador of hope to millions of people living with HIV around the world,” Castillejo says about the professor.
In March 2019, Gupta led a team demonstrating HIV remission in an HIV positive man with advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma following an ‘unrelated’ stem cell transplant. The person to receive this treatment was Castillejo.
Gupta graduated with a medical degree from Cambridge University in 1997. He later received a clinical degree from Oxford University in 2001 and completed a Master in Public Health at Harvard School of Public Health (1998-1999). He subsequently trained in infectious diseases in Oxford and The Hospital for Tropical Diseases.
Among other Indians on Times 100 influential people for year 2020 include Prime Minister Narendra Modi, actor Ayushman Khurrana, the ‘dadi from Shaheen Bhagh protest Bilkis, Alphabet and Google CEO Sunder Pichai.