Honorary awards

Professor Linus Opara

Prof Linus Opara was honoured by Stellenbosch University (SU) with the 2019 Chancellor’s Award in the Research Category.

The award recognises staff whose careers attest to sustained excellence in research, innovation, learning and teaching, social impact and professional services.

Prof Opara is a Distinguished Professor and holds the DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Postharvest Technology at SU.

Professor Michael Pepper

Prof Michael Pepper has been awarded the 2019 Health Excellence Award: Scientific Excellence Award. The award recognises excellence in healthcare by identifying leaders in medicine who have contributed to research, teaching and the advancement of medicine in South Africa.

He is Director of the Institute for Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Director of the SAMRC Extramural Unit for Stem Cell Research and Therapy and, a professor in the Department of Immunology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Pretoria.

Professor Jane Carruthers

Prof Jane Carruthers has been awarded the prestigious 2019 External Research Award by the University of South Africa (UNISA). The award recognises and honours her as Editor-in-Chief of the South African Journal of Science.

She is Professor Emeritus of History at Unisa.

Two ASSAf Members have been honoured with the Research and Innovation Award by the Durban University of Technology (DUT). Through this award, the DUT recognises excellence and the achievements of its researchers and innovators. They are:

Professor Michael Chapman

Re-Rated Researchers-B1 category. Prof Chapman is currently affiliated as a retired Professor to DUT. He is also Professor Emeritus and Fellow of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Professor Faizal Bux

Vice-Chancellor’s Award and Research Impact Award.

He is Professor and Director of the Institute for Water and Wastewater Technology at DUT.

International awards and prizes

Two ASSAf members were recognised with international awards. They are:

Professor Hester Klopper

Prof Hester Klopper has been honoured with the Dorothy Ford Buschmann Presidential Award by the Sigma Theta Tau International Honour Society of Nursing. The award recognises her outstanding contributions to nursing and global health.

She is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Strategy and Internationalisation at Stellenbosch University.

Professor Frans Swanepoel  

Prof Frans Swanepoel has been honored by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) during its AGM in Ghana. Through this award, Prof Swanepoel has been recognised as an expert in agriculture and food systems transformation and capacity development in Africa and for his significant contributions in pursuit of excellence in higher education in Africa and creating systems that facilitate change and transformation.

He is Professor of the Agricultural Transformation in Africa (ATA) and Director in the Strategic International Partnerships at the University of Pretoria.

National Research Foundation (NRF) Ratings 

The following ASSAf Members were awarded an A-rating from the NRF. A-rated researchers are unequivocally recognised by their peers as leading international scholars in their respective fields for the high quality and impact of recent research outputs: 

Prof Quarraisha Abdool Karim (A-1 rating): The Associate Scientific Director of the AIDS research center, CAPRISA, a Professor in Clinical Epidemiology at the Columbia University, and an Honorary Professor in Public Health at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Prof Jean M-S Lubuma (A-2 rating): Emeritus Professor in Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics, University of Pretoria (UP).

Prof James Ogude (A-2 rating): Director, Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship at UP.


Professor Nithaya Chetty

Prof Nithaya Chetty has been appointed as the Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Witwatersrand.

Four ASSAf members were elected as fellows of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) from sub-Saharan Africa. They are: 

Professor Glenda Gray: For outstanding contribution to the field of Medical and Health Sciences including Neurosciences.

Prof Gray is the President and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council, Associate Professor of Paediatrics at the University of the Witwatersrand, and a Director at the Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Baragwanath Hospital.

Professor Catherine Ngila: For outstanding contribution to the field of Chemical Sciences

Prof Ngila is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Academics and Student Affairs at Riara University, Nairobi, Kenya.

Professor Lynn Morris: For outstanding contribution to the field of Medical and Health Sciences including Neurosciences.

Prof Morris is the Interim Executive Director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and holds a joint appointment as Research Professor at the University of the Witwatersrand and is an Honorary Senior Scientist (Humoral Immunity) at CAPRISA.

Professor Nicholas Biekpe: For outstanding contribution to the field of Social and Economic Sciences.

Prof Biekpe is Professor of Development Finance and Econometrics at the University of Cape Town and the President of the Africagrowth Institute.