Bonaventura Clotet, a life dedicated to the fight against AIDS

Bonaventura Clotet, a life dedicated to the fight against AIDS

HIV and research: a professional challenge and a vocation

Dr. Clotet received his MD (1976) and his PhD (1981), with a thesis on autoimmune diseases, from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). That same year, his internship as an Internal Medicine specialist at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona ​coincided with the first AIDS case reported in Spain.

This case was the catalyst for a career dedicated to this serious disease, first as head of the HIV Unit of the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital in Badalona (1987-2015) and then as founder and president of the Fight against AIDS Foundation (1992).   

Dr. Clotet soon saw the need to go a step beyond patient care to conduct research aimed at eradicating AIDS. In 1995, with the support of Obra Social “la Caixa” and the Department of Health of the Generalitat of Catalonia, he founded the  IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, which he still heads.  

He is also head of the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital and, since 2006, co-director of HIVACAT, the Catalan AIDS Vaccine Research programme. He is also scientific advisor to two IrsiCaixa spin-offs: Aelix Therapeutics SL and AlbaJuna Therapeutics SL.

A world authority, widely applauded for his brilliant career

Numerous breakthroughs at IrsiCaixa have established Dr. Clotet as a world authority in HIV research. In some 35 years as a scientist, he has published over 700 articles in international journals.

A member of the Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health of Paris and director of the Corporate AIDS and Related Diseases Programme of the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS), he has received numerous awards throughout his career.  

These include the Creu de Sant Jordi  and the Josep Trueta Medal (Services to Healthcare), both awarded by the Generalitat of Catalonia, and the Lifetime Achievement Award for ICS Hospital-Based Research.

From laboratory to society: 35 years of teaching and communications

Dr. Clotet, in a scientific career that has unfolded in parallel with teaching and communication activities, has prioritized high-quality training for his teams and has actively encouraged research vocations in young people.

At the University of Vic (UVic), he holds the Chair of AIDS and Related Diseases. He also co-directs (with Josep Maria Gatell) the Educasida portal and is an associate professor at the UAB, where he directed the Master’s in AIDS Pathogenesis and Treatment (Gimbernat - UAB - IrsiCaixa) from 2011 to 2016.

A regular speaker at conferences, he also lectures for the general public and frequently features in the media.  One of his goals is to remove the stigma associated with AIDS and HIV so as to improve patients’ quality of life and raise funds for research.

Passion and committment

Behind the fight to eradicate AIDS is a man who loves what he does and who is dedicated body and soul to his work. His team is composed of some 100 researchers working in the fields of HIV, hepatitis, the immune system and cancer, papillomavirus, metagenomics and ageing.

A frequent tennis player since childhood and for many years, Dr. Clotet  currently jogs regularly. Indeed, his perspective on life — and on research — has something of the spirit of the long-distance runner.

One of his concerns is obtaining new sources of funding to accelerate research,  through initiatives, for instance, like the concert Our songs against AIDS and the Barcelona AIDS Gala.

A lover of classical music (Albéniz, Granados and Bach, among others), Dr. Clotet also has a special predilection for jazz as well as for musicians of the Nova Cançó like Manuel Serrat, Maria del Mar Bonet and Lluís Llach. More important to him than anything else, however, is his family.

 

Curriculum Vitae

Academic qualifications

  • MD (UAB, 1976); PhD (UAB, 1981): Incidence and clinical significance of anti-ENA antibodies in connective tissue diseases

  • Specialism in internal medicine

  • Specialism in gastroenterology and liver disease

Posts

  • Director of the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute (since 1995)

  • Head of the Infectious Diseases Unit of the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital in Badalona (from 2015)

  • President of the Fight AIDS Foundation (since 1992)

  • Director of the ICS Corporate Programme for AIDS and Related Diseases (since 2014)

  • Co-director of the HIVACAT programme for AIDS Vaccine Research (since 2006)

  • Scientific advisor to Aelix Therapeutics SL (from 2015)

  • Scientific advisor to AlbaJuna Therapeutics SL (from 2016)

  • Member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health of Paris (since 2015)

  • Member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Catalonia (RAMC) (since 2015)

  • Member of the Biological Sciences Section of the Institute of Catalan Studies (IES) (since 2015)

  • Former member of  the Advisory Council for Healthcare Sustainability and Progress (CASOST) of the Generalitat of Catalonia (2013-2015)

  • Former member of the Eurosida Executive Committee (1994-2010)

  • Former head of the HIV Unit of the Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital in Badalona  (1987–2015)  

  • Former member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Prince of Girona Foundation (2009-2015)

Publications

More than 700 articles in international scientific journals:

  • Total citations: >17,200

  • Average citations: 24.42

  • H-index: 76.

  • Cumulative impact factor (IF): >5,000

Member of editorial boards for: AIDS Journal, HIV Medicine, Expert Review of Clinical Immunology, Future HIV Therapy and Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care.

Reviewer for: AIDS, JAIDS, JID, Antiviral Therapy, HIV Medicine, CID, Lancet, Lancet Infectious Diseases and Drugs.

 

Teaching

  • Associate Professor of Medicine at the UAB (since 1986)
     
  • Director of the Chair of AIDS and Related Diseases, University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia (since 2013)
     
  • Coordinator of the Educasida portal (www.educasida.es) (since 2007)
     
  • ​Director of the Master’s in AIDS Pathogenesis and Treatment (Gimbernat-UAB-IrsiCaixa) (from 2011 to 2016)

Prizes and awards

  • Creu de Sant Jordi of the Generalitat of Catalonia (2016)

  • Events & Help Enposi+ivo social i d’esport Award (2015)

  • Freedom Barcelona Peace and Human Rights Award (2014)

  • Professional Excellence Award of the Official Medical College of Barcelona (COMB) (2013)

  • Honorary Member of the Medical-Pharmaceutical Institute of Catalonia (IMFC) (2013)

  • Doctor Honoris Causa of the Carol Davila University (Bucharest, Romania) (2013)

  • Josep Trueta Medal (Services to Healthcare) of the Generalitat of Catalonia (2012)

  • Lifetime Achievement Award for ICS Hospital-Based Research (2010)

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