Sep. 03 2020

Salim Abdool Karim Named One of 100 Most Influential Africans

Salim Abdool Karim, PhD, a clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist and professor of global health in epidemiology, was named one the most influential Africans in 2020 by the Paris-based publication, Jeune Afrique. Abdool Karim was one of 100 leaders of major companies, sportsmen, artists, scientists and politicians deemed essential in this extraordinary year. Abdool Karim became one of the main faces of the fight against COVID-19 in South Africa, and on the continent.

Earlier this summer, Abdool Karim was appointed to the Lancet COVID-19 Commission created to help speed up global, equitable, and lasting solutions to the pandemic. One of 28 commissioners from around the world, Abdool Karim was selected for his leadership in health science and delivery, business, politics, and finance from across the world.

In addition to his Columbia Mailman School appointment, Abdool Karim, is director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) based in Durban, South Africa. He 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, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He 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.