Quarraisha Abdool Karim, an infectious diseases epidemiologist, is Associate Scientific Director of CAPRISA; Professor in Clinical Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York, Pro-Vice Chancellor for African Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and UNAIDS Special Ambassador for Adolescents and HIV.
Her research over the past 32 years has focused on the evolving HIV epidemic and HIV infection in young women. Abdool Karim has over 200 peer reviewed publications; edited several books and contributed to several book chapters and has played a central role in building the science base in southern Africa through the Columbia University – Southern African Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Programme.
She holds Fellowships at the: The World Academy of Science, Royal Society of South Africa, Academy of Science of South Africa and the African Academy of Science and is a member of the USA National Academy of Medicine.
Her contributions has been recognized by two honorary doctorates; more than 40 local and international prestigious awards including: the African Union’s Kwame Nkrumah Prize for Science and Technology; the TWAS-Lenovo Prize from The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS); the ASSAf Science-for-Society Gold Medal; the South African Medical Research Council Gold Medal; the L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Laureate award for Africa and the Arab States; the Christophe Merieux Award from the French Academies of Medicine and the John Dirks-Canadian Gairdner Global Public Health Laureate Award.
She is a member of the WHO Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health; and Scientific Advisory Board of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); co-chair of the UN SDG Technology Facilitation Mechanism and co-chair to the UNAIDS Executive Director’s Advisory Board. She is a Living Legend for the City of Durban and has been inducted to the Order of Mapungubwe (the highest citizen recognition bestowed by the State President of South Africa).