Marc Paul Girard graduated from the National Veterinary School in Alfort in 1958 and received his doctorate in veterinary medicine (DVM) at Paris University in 1960, followed by a doctorate in Science (PhD) in 1967, also in Paris. He trained as a student at the Pasteur Institute in Paris then as an Assistant at the Alfort Veterinary School and finally, for three years as a Post-doctoral Fellow in the USA with Pr James Darnell and Pr Renato Dulbecco, successively at the MIT (Cambridge, MA), Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New-York, NY) and the Salk Institute (La Jolla, CA) where he was Pr David Baltimore’s first Post-Doc. He went on studying the molecular biology of poliovirus at the Pasteur Institute with Pr André Lwoff in 1965, then focussed on SV40 and adenovirus at the French Cancer Research Institute in Villejuif from 1969-1979, before moving back to the Pasteur Institute in 1980 where he eventually focussed on HIV. He was a visiting professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Pr Hurwitz) in 1972, and later at the NIH (Dr Anthony Fauci), at the Salk Institute in La Jolla (Pr David Baltimore) and twice at Duke University (Pr Dany Bolognesi). He worked for the last 20 years of his career on the development of an eventual HIV vaccine.
Pr Girard was the Chairman of the Concerted Action “Vaccines” at the French National AIDS Research Agency (ANRS) from 1988 to 1998. He then chaired the HIV Vaccine Initiative “EuroVac”, an European Consortium aimed at developing an AIDS Vaccine, which grouped together 21 European laboratories participating in Phase I clinical trials of candidate HIV vaccines.