Malegapuru Makgoba was cited for his contribution to medical science in South Africa. First as Chairperson of the board of the Medical Research Council and then as President, he guided the transformation and expansion of the MRC. He stood for scientific integrity and guarded the fine reputation of South African science and medicine. In his scientific work Professor Makgoba has been instrumental in demonstrating the importance of surface adhesion molecules in the function of cells (T lymphocytes) playing a central part in the body’s immune system; this work has contributed permanently to the understanding of lymphocyte function.
Trefor Jenkins studied medicine at King’s College and Westminster Hospital in London, before moving to South Africa. His genetic research on blood groups and DNA polymorphisms added significant new insights to the study of gene markers in different populations, which contributed to clarifying the origins of indigenous groups in Africa. He also worked on sickle cell anaemia and the molecular basis of albinism. He was a pioneer in establishing an undergraduate teaching programme in Medical Ethics at the University of the Witwatersrand and has made notable personal contributions in this field also in the public domain.