Global AIDS scientist elected Fellow of the prestigious Royal Society

29 April 2019

Professor Salim Abdool Karim, Director of CAPRISA, has been elected as a Fellow of the distinguished Royal Society in London and will be officially inducted to the world’s oldest science academy, on 12th July this year.


 Abdool Karim is one of only three scientists in South Africa who are presently Fellows of the Royal Society, which was established four centuries ago in 1660. ‘This is absolutely wonderful news – what a proud moment for South Africa!’, said Professor Glenda Gray, President of the South African Medical Research Council.


 Abdool Karim, together with South African astronomer Dr Bernard Fanaroff, joins a fellowship of over 1,600 scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth, including around 80 Nobel Laureates, who have made a “substantial contribution to the improvement of natural knowledge”.


 “Over the course of the Royal Society’s vast history, it is our Fellowship that has remained a constant thread and the substance from which our purpose has been realised: to use science for the benefit of humanity,” said Dr Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, in a statement announcing the election of new Fellows and Foreign Members on 18th April.  


Ramakrishnan said that “this year’s newly elected Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society embody this, being drawn from diverse fields of enquiry—epidemiology, geometry, climatology—at once disparate, but also aligned in their pursuit and contributions of knowledge about the world in which we live, and it is with great honour that I welcome them as Fellows of the Royal Society.”


 Established in 1660 by Royal Charter, the Royal Society, has included many of the world’s leading scientists over the past four centuries from Sir Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin to Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking.

Abdool Karim, the CAPRISA Professor of Global Health in Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in the United States and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal is globally respected for his seminal scientific contributions to AIDS research over the past three decades. 

In an interview with University World News, Abdool Karim said, “For me this award is not simply a personal achievement but rather a signal that African scientists undertaking research in Africa are capable and are doing work that is highly regarded and meets international standards of scientific excellence.”


 To read the interview with Abdool Karim entitled, Building scientific platforms, published in University World News, click on this link: