Two Stellenbosch University (SU) scientists have been selected for TIME magazine’s list of 100 most influential people of 2022.
Professor Tulio de Oliveira and Dr Sikhulile Moyo feature among those who have made some of the most significant contributions to the world over the past year.
De Oliveira is a professor of bioinformatics with joint appointments at SU’s School for Data Science and Computational Thinking, the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Moyo is an SU alumnus who obtained his PhD in medical virology in 2016, and who serves as a laboratory director at the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP).
News24 reports that the two have been recognised for their work in genomics and epidemiology. In November 2021, they led the multi-disciplinary team that discovered the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.
De Oliveira is the founding director of SU’s Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI). He raised more than R300m in funding for the centre and is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) gold medal, and the SA health minister’s special COVID-19 award.
He was included in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Technological Review list of the top 10 technological breakthroughs of 2022.
Moyo is also a research associate of the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and an adjunct senior lecturer at the University of Botswana. He has been a member of Botswana’s COVID-19 presidential task force, is a former co-chair of the laboratory technologist committee for the global AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and the International Maternal, Paediatric, Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network (Impaact).
One of his biggest contributions has been to mother-to-child HIV transmission studies, which have had a significant impact on preventing HIV transmission, improving birth outcomes, HIV incidence, diversity and drug resistance, and multiple pathogen genomics projects involving hepatitis, norovirus, sapovirus, human papillomavirus and tuberculosis.
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