Valerie Mizrahi has been awarded the SAMRC’s Platinum Medal for Lifetime Achievement. Platinum medals are awarded each year to accomplished scientists for outstanding lifetime scientific achievement in the field of health. Up to two platinum medals may be awarded each year with preference given to one medal for an SAMRC (intra-mural or extra-mural) scientist and one medal for a non-SAMRC scientist.
The Medals are awarded to South African citizens who have made seminal scientific contributions and who have also made an impact on local and/or global health and/or science policy and/or clinical practice that impact on the health of people, especially those living in developing countries.
Valerie’s research has focused on aspects of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that are relevant to TB drug discovery, drug resistance and mycobacterial persistence. Her research group is particularly well known for its work in interpreting mechanisms of DNA metabolism and how these relate to the evolution of drug resistance in M. tuberculosis. They have also carried out pioneering research on energy, cofactor and nucleotide metabolism, leading to new TB drug target identification.
Carolyn Williamson has been awarded the SAMRC’s Gold Medal for Scientific Achievement. Gold medals are awarded annually to established senior scientists who have made seminal scientific contributions that have impacted on the health of people, especially those living in developing countries.
Carolyn’s research aims to inform vaccine design. She has made significant contributions to understanding the molecular mechanisms of HIV transmission, and to illuminating the characteristics of the transmitted virus. Her work demonstrates how these characteristics influence both the risk of infection and disease progression; and she has been involved in developing and testing candidate HIV vaccines. Carolyn is also a research associate of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA)