Invitation to Covid: Where are we now?

The President of the RSSAf invites you to a Royal Society of South South Africa online Webinar co-hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa presented by  Professor Glenda Gray, President and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) on ‘Covid: Where are we now?’ : Exploring the impact that the pandemic has had, and still has, on all aspects of life  

About the Speaker:  An NRF A1 rated scientist, CEO and President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Professor Glenda Gray is a qualified paediatrician and co-founder of the internationally recognised Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Soweto, South Africa. Prior to her appointment at the SAMRC, she was the Executive Director of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit, an affiliate of Wits University. Glenda’s global profile includes a role as Co-PI of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), an international collaboration for the development of HIV/AIDS prevention vaccines.    As the COVID-19 pandemic developed, she was among the first to lead public discourse on the issue, and to move quickly to establish COVID-19 vaccine trials in South Africa, utilizing the experience and network developed over the years for the HIV vaccine work. Glenda served as a Protocol Co-Chair of the multi-country Ensemble Study investigating the single-dose Ad26.COV2.S vaccine as an emergency response intervention. When South Africa’s national vaccine roll-out faltered, her international stature enabled her to negotiate a donation of 500 000 doses of the Ad26.CoV.2 vaccine before any emergency use authorization was available and conduct a phase 3B open-label study in health care workers, called the Sisonke Study.

She received South Africa’s highest honour – the Order of Mapungubwe – for her pioneering research in PMTCT. Other prestigious accolades include the Nelson Mandela Health and Human Rights Award for significant contributions in the field of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Selected as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Forbes top 50 women in Africa, honorary degrees include: DSc (honoris causa Simon Fraser University), DSc (honoris causa Stellenbosch University), and LLD (honoris causa Rhodes University). She was awarded the Royal Society of SA’s Herschel Medal for 2020 for her highly distinguished multidisciplinary contributions to the furtherance of Science.   She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the Academy of Science of South Africa, the African Academy of Science and the World Academy of Science. She is fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.  

Date:     Wednesday 16th November 2022

Time:    17h00


The recording of the webinar will be made available via the RSSAf website in due course.   

Professor S G Burton FRSSAf 

President: Royal Society of SA 


‘promoting science – recognising excellence in research and scholarship’