Profs Koleka Mlisana and Tulio de Oliviera receive SAMRC awards

15 March 2022

The SAMRC honoured the scientific contributions of CAPRISA Research Associates, Professors Koleka Mlisana and Tulio de Oliviera, at the 8th SAMRC Scientific Merit Awards held on 10th March. 

The prestigious President’s Award is made to ‘scientists who have made exceptional lifelong contributions to medical research and public health’ was presented to microbiologist, Professor Koleka Mlisana for her research in HIV.  She has over 40 years’ experience in health sciences and currently co-chairs the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Coronavirus (MAC). Mlisana was head of the HIV Pathogenesis and Vaccine Research Programme at CAPRISA.

A Gold medal award was presented to bioinformatics scientist Professor Tulio de Oliviera, who facilitated the identification of the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern – Beta and Omicron in South Africa and led the creation of the Network for Genomic Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA). Oliviera is the Director of the newly established Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI) and Professor of Bioinformatics, School for Data Science and Computational Thinking, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University.  According to the SAMRC the Gold Medal category, is  awarded to ‘researchers who have made substantial and influential contributions that have impacted on health especially in the developing world’. 

Photo (L-R): Professor Tulio de Oliviera, Professor Koleka Mlisana