Today we celebrate birthday of the outstanding Latvian scientist, immunologist, Emeritus Scientist and the inventor of the cancer virotherapy drug, professor Aina Muceniece
Dr.habil.med. Aina Muceniece (23 March 1924 – 14 February 2010) was a Latvian scientist, immunologist, Emeritus Scientist and the inventor of the cancer drug RIGVIR. She was honorary member of the Latvian Association of Oncologists, received the Cross of Recognition for meritorious service to the Republic of Latvia.
Aina Muceniece was born in Katlakalns, Latvia. She graduated the Vilis Olavs School in Riga and worked as a nurse during the Second World War in Yaroslavl, USSR. After the war, she studied medicine at the Latvian State University, where she earned a doctor’s degree.
Muceniece started her scientific career at the August Kirhenstein Institute of Microbiology (Latvian Academy of Sciences), first as a senior laboratory assistant, later as a senior research associate. In the 1960s, she discovered the phenomenon of viruses being able to destroy cancerous cells and started researching this phenomenon. In 1965, a virotherapy laboratory was founded at the August Kirhenstein Institute of Microbiology, Muceniece became head of the laboratory and led it until 1989. During this period, various trials of RIGVIR were held at the laboratory. Muceniece also worked at the Pauls Stradiņš Hospital and the National Oncology Center as an immunology consultant.