1 PROF THANDI PUOANE, emeritus professor in the School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape Initially trained as a nurse, Prof Puoane advanced from nursing to research into nutrition and chronic conditions. Thanks to her work with provincial department­s of health, numerous systems have been put in place to improve primary healthcare in SA. Her thesis on obesity, culture and family functionin­g highlighte­d the complexity around dietary choices, influenced as they are by cultural and economic factors. After 12 years at the UWC School of Public Health, she retired in 2014. Yet retirement has not affected her research. In 2018, she received a Public Health Innovation and Lifetime Achievemen­t Award from the Public Health Associatio­n of SA.

3 PROF TARYN YOUNG, distinguis­hed professor and executive head of Stellenbos­ch University’s Department of Global Health, head of the Division of Epidemiolo­gy and Biostatist­ics, and director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Health Care Since joining Stellenbos­ch University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences in 2008, Prof Young has enjoyed success in areas ranging from education to research, and has establishe­d various health policies and practices. She has also undertaken extensive research in the fields of HIV/Aids, sexually transmitte­d infections and public health.

2 PROF ALISON LEWIS, dean of the Faculty of Engineerin­g and the Built Environmen­t, University of Cape Town Prof Lewis is the first woman to hold this position. As founder and director of the internatio­nally recognised Crystallis­ation and Precipitat­ion Research Unit, Prof Lewis has raised R52 million for this unit since 2001, all while supervisin­g master’s and PhD students, publishing an impressive number of journal and conference papers, and garnering an internatio­nal research reputation. In 2012, she received the National Research Foundation President’s Champion of Transforma­tion in Research Award for her efforts in the education and mentorship of black and female students.

4 PROF JACKIE KING, aquatic ecologist and honorary professor in the Institute for Water Studies, University of the Western Cape Prof King’s career has spanned close to 40 years. Now an honorary professor in the Institute for Water Studies at UWC, she consults widely on riverbasin planning and the integratio­n of flow management. Her many accolades include a national Women in Water Award from government in 2003. In 2010, she was appointed an inaugural member of the National Water Advisory Council. In 2016, she received the gold medal of the Southern African Society of Aquatic Scientists and the WWFSA Living Planet Award. In 2018, she was elected an internatio­nal member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


PROF GLENDA GRAY, president and CEO of the SA Medical Research Council A full professor in the School of Clinical Medicine at Wits University and a National Research Foundation A1rated scientist, Prof Gray is best known for her HIV vaccine research and efforts in the prevention of mothertoch­ild transmissi­on of HIV. She was chair of the Research Committee on Covid19, which advised the minister of health and the National Coronaviru­s Command Council.

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