Quarraisha Abdool Karim, PhD is an epidemiologist who has had a profound impact on HIV prevention globally through the CAPRISA 004 study that demonstrated that tenofovir gel prevents both HIV and HSV-2 infection published in Science and ranked by Science as one of the top 10 breakthroughs in 2010.
Her research is the culmination of more than 20 years of research on HIV infection in women, including seminal contributions on the evolving epidemiology and prevention of HIV in women as reflected in her extensive publications several in high impact journals including Science, Nature, Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine.
Her contributions extend to HIV treatment, where she is a key investigator in the research team that defined when to initiate antiretroviral treatment in TB-HIV co-infected patients that was the basis for the WHO’s international policies and guidelines on TB and HIV co-treatment. In addition to her research, she has contributed to post-graduate training of more than 300 young South African scientists in HIV and TB research through the Columbia University - Southern African Fogarty AIDS International Training and Research Program, which she directs. Dr Abdool Karim is a Professor in Public Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University in New York and Associate Scientific Director of CAPRISA – Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa.
She has been the recipient of several international and national awards for her scientific contributions the most recent being the Order of Mapungubwe conferred by the South African State President, a highest recognition for a citizen that recognizes excellence and personal accomplishments which have made a significant impact globally.