Four things to know about Prof Abdool Karim’s replacement Prof Koleka Mlisana

Prof Koleka Mlisana has been appointed to replace Prof Salim Abdool Karim as co-chair of the ministerial advisory committee (MAC) on Covid-19 after his one-year term came to an end this week.

Prof Koleka Mlisana has been appointed to replace Prof Salim Abdool Karim as co-chair of the ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19.
Image: Supplied.

In a statement, Abdool Karim said he was stepping down to focus on his other academic work.

“As the one year anniversary of my term nears, the time has come for me to return to my HIV research and academic commitments,” he said.

“I am therefore stepping down from the MAC on Covid-19 (and consequently from the MAC on vaccines as well), having served for a year, with my last day being March 23 2021.”

Here are four things to know about Mlisana:

Already a MAC member

Mlisana was already a member of the MAC as chair of the pathology/laboratory sub-committee.

She serves as a member of the ministerial advisory committee on antimicrobial resistance.

She also holds the position of executive manager of academic affairs, research and quality assurance at the national health laboratory service since July 2018.

Qualifications

Mlisana holds an MBChB, MMedPath (Micro) and a PhD from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Her previous contributions include being a co-investigator and project director of the Centre for the Aids Program of Research in SAat the eThekwini site and head of HIV pathogenesis and vaccine research programme.

Experience in diseases

Mlisana has undertaken seminal research which has revealed how the body responds during acute HIV infection.

Her current research interests include TB diagnostics, drug resistance and sexually transmitted infections.

She has co-authored more than 130 peer-reviewed journal articles.

Mentoring young scientists 

Mlisana served as a member of the board of trustees for the SA National Aids Council and on the Medical and Dental Board of the Health Professions Council of SA.

According to the health ministry, she nurtured and mentored many young scientists and is passionate about equipping the next generation of leaders in science.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Unathi Nkanjeni

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