HIV Isolation and Identification. Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier both discovered HIV, determining that the virus was the cause of AIDS, and making it more possible to control the disease. Formerly a cancer researcher at the National Cancer Institute, Gallo now heads the Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore. Montagnier is the former director of the Centre National de la Recherch Scientifique (CNRS), and he is the co-founder of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention. Montagnier won the 2008 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery.