More than 1000 people, including politicians and prominent researchers, are expected to attend a public memorial for trailblazing HIV researcher Professor David Cooper this Thursday.

Cooper, founding director of the University of New South Wales Kirby Institute, passed away in March after a brief illness.

He was an early researcher of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, and regarded as an international leader in the fight against the virus.

A global leader among clinicians and researchers, he diagnosed the first cases of HIV in Australia in the early 1980s and spent more than 30 years dedicated to HIV prevention and treatment.

In Cooper’s career he authored more than 800 clinical papers and contributed to the development of every therapeutic drug used in HIV treatment.

Thursday’s memorial will be opened by Clover Moore and hosted by Ita Buttrose.

It will include tributes from figures including former Justice of the High Court Michael Kirby, St Vincent’s Hospital CEO Anthony Schembri and UNSW Vice Chancellor Ian Jacobs.

Video tributes will feature interviews from David Gonski, Neal Blewett and Peter Baume, as well as people who had known Cooper as his patients over many years.

The memorial will be held this Thursday from 12:30 pm at Sydney Town Hall, 483 George St.

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