Cape Town – World-renowned South African HIV/Aids researcher Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim has made history as the first woman president of the World Academy of Sciences.
“It is a real honour and privilege to be elected as President of TWAS,” said Abdool Karim, “and to have the opportunity to build on the strong foundations established over four decades by my predecessors in realising the aspirational vision of the founder, Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam, on the use of science to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in the developing world.”
Abdool Karim succeeds Sudanese mathematician Professor Mohamed Hassan, who will sit on the 2023–2026 council as immediate past president alongside scientists from all regions of the world.
Here are nine quick facts about Dr Quarraisha Abdool Karim
– Quarraisha Abdool Karim is one of the world’s leading Aids researchers, with pioneering contributions in understanding the evolving HIV epidemic among young women while also advocating for the rights of people living with and affected by HIV.
– She is the Associate Scientific Director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa, CAPRISA.
– She is a Professor in Clinical Epidemiology at Columbia University, USA, and pro-Vice Chancellor for African Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
– Abdool Karim was included in the Women in Science list released by Forbes Africa in 2021.
– Her scientific excellence has been recognised through more than 30 honours and awards.
– She holds professorships in clinical epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, United States of America, and in public health at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
– According to UNAIDS, She was the principal investigator in the landmark CAPRISA 004 tenofovir gel trial, which provided proof of concept for microbicides, highlighted by Science magazine as one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs in 2010.
– She has written more than 170 peer-reviewed publications and has authored several books and book chapters.
– In August, Quarraisha, and her husband, Professor Salim Abdool Karim, were among the candidates to receive the Fourth Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize from Japan for their work on HIV/Aids and Covid-19 in Africa.