Salim S. Abdool Karim, FRS, is a South African clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist widely recognized for scientific contributions in HIV and Covid-19. He is Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), Durban, and CAPRISA Professor of Global Health at Columbia University, New York.
He is an Adjunct Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard University, Boston, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Cornell University, New York, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. He previously served as President of the South African Medical Research Council and as the Chair of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19. He is a member of the African Coronavirus Task Force and a Commissioner of the Lancet Commission on Covid-19.
Dr Abdool Karim is ranked among the world’s most highly cited scientists by Web of Science. He serves on the Boards of several journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Global Health, Lancet HIV and mBio. He is a member of the WHO Science Council. He is the Chair of the WHO’s HIV Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee and a member of the WHO TB-HIV Task Force. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Global Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He was active in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, championing community struggles in the black communities. In 1984, he worked with medical colleagues who were concerned about apartheid’s impact on health to create the National Medical and Dental Association (NAMDA) to address inequities in health and oppose the institutions of apartheid health. He has been a vocal critic of AIDS denialism in South Africa and has championed a scientific approach to Covid-19.
He is the recipient of the 2020 John Maddox prize (jointly with Dr A. Fauci) for standing up for science in the Covid-19 pandemic. His awards for scientific contributions in HIV include the African Union’s “Kwame Nkrumah Award” which is Africa’s most prestigious scientific award and the Canadian Gairdner Global Health Award. He is a member of the World Academy of Science, African Academy of Sciences, Academy of Science in South Africa and Royal Society of South Africa. He is member of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Association of American Physicians.
He is member of the US National Academy of Medicine. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS).