26 September 2012

Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim has been named by the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), as a recipient of the Academy’s 2012 Prize for Medical Sciences “for her exceptional and distinguished contributions to HIV prevention and women's health”.

The Academy made its announcement of the winners this week following its deliberations at the 23rd TWAS General Meeting held in Tianjin, China. The TWAS prizes are among the most prestigious scientific prizes recognizing scientific excellence in the developing world in the fields of agricultural sciences, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, engineering sciences, mathematics, physics and medical sciences. The Prize includes an inscribed plaque, a certificate and an award of $15,000.

Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim is Associate Scientific Director of CAPRISA (Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa), Adjunct Professor of Public Health at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine at University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Associate Professor in Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York. She is being recognised by the Academy for her significant scientific contributions spanning two decades of the HIV epidemic in southern Africa, especially her ground-breaking research on tenofovir gel as the first HIV prevention technology for women. This research, which was first presented at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, was hailed by Science as among the Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2010. She is one of two recipients of the 2012 TWAS Prize in Medical Sciences; the other recipient being Professor George Gao from the Beijing Institute of Microbiology for his work on influenza.