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Quarraisha Abdool Karim


Quarraisha Abdool Karim is an infectious diseases epidemiologist, professor of Clinical Epidemiology in Columbia University, Pro Vice-Chancellor for African Health in University of KwaZulu-Natal, and co-founder and Associate Scientific Director of CAPRISA. Her research over the past 34 years has focused on the evolving HIV epidemic and preventing HIV infection in adolescent girls and young women. Her landmark CAPRISA 004/tenofovir gel CAPRISA 004 trial, demonstrated for the first time that anti-retrovirals can prevent HIV infection and highlighted by the journal Science as one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs in 2010. Abdool Karim’s work has been recognized by more than 40 local and international prestigious awards. Abdool Karim has over 300 peer reviewed publications. She 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 that has trained over 600 scientists in southern Africa.

 In addition to her research, Abdool Karim serves as UNAIDS Special Ambassador for Adolescents and HIV; Co-chair of the UN SDG 10 Member Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM) for use of Science, Technology and Innovation to accelerate attainment of the 2030 SDG goals. She is an Executive Group Member of the Steering Committees for the WHO Covid-19 Solidarity Therapeutics Trial and the WHO Covid-19 Solidarity Vaccines Trial and is the Deputy-Chair of the WHO Alliance for Sexual and Reproductive Health.  Her non-executive board memberships include: the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board; the Board of Directors of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (USA) and the CAPRISA Board of Control.  

“I am inspired by Quarraisha Abdool Karim and @ProfAbdoolKarim. They are two of the most respected HIV/AIDS researchers in the world. And now they are helping guide the COVID-19 response in South Africa and around the globe.”

Bill Gates

Quarraisha Abdool Karim

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