Aug. 11 2020

Epidemiology Professor Salim Abdool Karim has been appointed to the Lancet COVID-19 Commission created to help speed up global, equitable, and lasting solutions to the pandemic. Abdool Karim was one of 28 commissioners selected for his leadership in health science and delivery, business, politics, and finance from across the world. The Commissioners will be working together towards a comprehensive outlook on how to stop the pandemic and how best to promote an equitable and sustainable recovery.

In addition to his Columbia Mailman School appointment, Salim Abdool Karim, PhD, is professor of Global Health in the Department of Epidemiology, and director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) based in Durban, South Africa. 

Abdool Karim currently serves as the Chair of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 and as a Member of the Africa Task Force for Coronavirus. He is chair of the UNAIDS Scientific Expert Panel and WHO’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on HIV and Hepatitis; a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal Society; and serves on the Boards of Lancet-Global Health, Lancet-HIV, and the New England Journal of Medicine.

In 2017, Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim, who is also a professor at Columbia Mailman School, were honored by the Institute for Human Virology with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Public Service in recognition of their outstanding contributions to research on the AIDS pandemic. Their ground-breaking CAPRISA 004 trial showed that tenofovir gel prevents both HIV infection and genital herpes. The finding was ranked in the "Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2010" by the journal, Science, and was heralded by UNAIDS and WHO as one of the most significant scientific breakthroughs in AIDS.