Professor Ravi Gupta has been chosen as one of the most influential people of 2020 by Time magazine. The list of 100 people is complied annually and features artists, leaders, icons and pioneers drawn from events of the year.
Professor Gupta was selected for his work leading to the cure of HIV in Adam Castillejo, known as the “London Patient”. The cure, only the second to be described, was a result of stem-cell treatments for Hodgkin’s lymphoma using cells from a donor with a mutation in CCR5 [REF https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1027-4]. “He has championed me and empowered me to become an ambassador of hope to millions of people living with HIV around the world”, Mr Castillejo writes in the citation [REF https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2020/5888184/ravindra-gupta/].
Professor Gupta’s research career began in 2006 and was funded by a BIA fellowship studying HIV drug resistance. “The BIA funding set me up for Wellcome Trust awards and ultimately set me on my career path – it was really valuable,” says Gupta. “My current research student also received a BIA award for work on HIV reservoirs and has done some excellent work on COVID-19.”
Last year Gupta moved from UCL to Cambridge where he works at the University’s Institute of Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Disease (CITIID). Covid has prompted a rapid shift in focus and he has repurposed his experience in HIV to lead projects in coronavirus diagnostics, pathogenesis and viral evolution.