‘Ebola hunter’ Jean-Jacques Muyembe receives Harvard honorary degree

Jean-Jacques Muyembe
Jean-Jacques Muyembe

May 26, 2022 – Jean-Jacques Muyembe, a Congolese microbiologist who leads public health emergency responses in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including for COVID-19, is one of Harvard University’s honorary degree recipients for 2022.

Muyembe is head of the DRC’s Institut National de la Recherche Biomédicale in Kinshasa and the inaugural president of the Congolese Academy of Science. He was the first to discover the Ebola virus during his work in the first-ever outbreak in 1976, in central Congo. He took blood samples from a sick patient and sent them to be identified in Belgium, where colleagues had an electron microscope. Scientists there and in the U.S. were able to verify a new virus that caused hemorrhagic fever.

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