Professor Kogie Naidoo, Deputy Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), was awarded the 2023 EDCTP Outstanding Female Scientist Prize at the EDCTP 2023 Forum opening ceremony.
Earlier in her career, Prof. Naidoo was one of the first clinicians to provide antiretroviral therapy to people living with HIV in South Africa, and to offer free antiretrovirals in clinics in rural South Africa. However, these efforts then revealed the enormous death toll of TB in the country. Since then, Prof. Naidoo has devoted her life to finding ways to reduce the burden of TB and HIV co-infections.
Her work has focused on disease prevention, vaccine trials and implementation research, particularly around drug-resistant TB. A particularly notable achievement was work demonstrating more than a halving of mortality in HIV/TB co-infected patients.
She has supervised and mentored scores of students and early-career researchers, more than 90% of them women. The Prize, she suggested, would provide a boost to these efforts: “Winning the EDCTP prize is important because it provides encouragement that the work I have invested in is being recognised as of value to society. It gives me an amazing resource to motivate and fund other young scientists.”
These efforts will ultimately strengthen the region’s capacity to address its own challenges: “It goes back to investment in African scientists to find African solutions to African problems.”
The Outstanding Female Scientist Prize is awarded to world-class female scientists working in sub-Saharan Africa in the scope of the EDCTP2 programme. Prize-winners are recognised for their significant scientific contributions and achievements in their research field as well as their efforts at building research capacity through training and mentorship of the future generation of researchers and scientists in Africa.
Prof. Naidoo was presented the award at the Eleventh EDCTP Forum Opening Ceremony by Sylvie Retailleau, French Minister for Research, Higher Education and Innovation.