A tribute to Professor Bongani Mayosi

30 July 2018

It is with deep sadness that we learnt of the passing of our colleague Professor Bongani Mayosi, Dean of the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Health Sciences, who was a graduate of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Professor Mayosi passed away on 27 July 2018 at the age of 51.

       Professor Mayosi  was a world-class South African cardiologist. He was a leading scholar globally on TB pericarditis and rheumatic heart disease including being the co-author of the revised Jones Criteria for the diagnosis of rheumatic fever. He established the AfrIcan CardioMyopatHy and MyOcardiTis REsearch Programme (IMHOTEP), which contributed important studies of (1) prevalence of myocarditis, (2) pathogenesis of HIV-associated cardiomyopathy, and (3) familial aggregation of cardiomyopathy.

       He received numerous accolades and awards during his research career. He was elected to the US National Academy of Medicine last year, one of the highest honours in the fields of health and medicine. He was also the recipient of South Africa’s highest honour, the Order of Mapungubwe in Silver, for excellent achievements in medical science.

       His numerous honours included the South African Medical Research Council's Platinum Award; South African Medical Association Merit Award; National Science and Technology Foundation – BHP Billiton Award; Fellowship of the University of Cape Town and the National Research Foundation Award for Transforming the Science Cohort in South Africa to name just a few.

        He also played an active role in identifying and mentoring a number of talented South African clinician and medical scientists.

      He will be remembered for his scientific rigour, his contributions to capacity development in the country and his dedication to improving public health. With regard to the latter, he was a key contributor to the Lancet series on “Health in South Africa”.  Our thoughts are with his family.