Nobel Prize winner teams with Houston doctor

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And now he's joining a Houston doctor to research other diseases with the goal of preventing them from even occurring.

Every medical breakthrough takes place in a laboratory and there is one near the Texas Medical Center, preparing to investigate chronic, often life-threatening diseases. But medical breakthroughs also start in the minds of scientists and one of the renowned scientists is Dr. Luc Montagnier.

"Well, we are interested in many chronic diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cancer," said Dr. Montagnier.

For his work in identifying AIDS as a virus and then isolating it, Dr. Montagnier was awarded a Nobel Prize in medicine. But the French scientist is now tackling another medical frontier. The theory is the possibility that chronic diseases are caused by a weakened resistance to virus and bacteria. The research will center on protecting the body's immune system.

"On a long term basis, we hope to change medicine, make it more preventive than curative," said Dr. Montagnier

That is the focus of the Medical Prevention and Research Institute based out of the office of Houston Dr. Joseph Varon. Dr. Varon has pioneered the use of hypothermia in heart attack and stroke patients, bringing some back from the brink of death.

Now he is partnering with Dr. Montagnier. The focus is on identifying mystery illnesses in some patients.

"So if we can figure out what causes a disease, then we can start looking at ways to prevent it from happening," said Dr. Varon.

Dr. Varon will provide the clinical cases. Dr. Montagnier will investigate them and perhaps, as with the discovery of the AIDS virus, there will be breakthroughs in this lab that could unravel the secret of other diseases and most of all, the key to avoiding them.

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