About Prof Refilwe Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya
Prof Refilwe Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya is an Epidemiologist/Public Health Scientist (MA(SW), PGD (Epi), MSc (Epi), PhD) trained at University of Limpopo and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Johannesburg and Guest Epidemiology Lecturer. She is also a MSc Reproductive Biology and Reproductive Health MSc Lecturer (Epidemiology) at Pan African University of Life and Earth Sciences, African Union. Preceding this, she was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation at the North-West University, acting Executive Director, Research Director and Chief Research Manager at the HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Research Programme of Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) for nearly 13 years, as well as Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor of an internationally accredited African Journal (SAHARA J). Prof Phaswana-Mafuya has worked to better understand the epidemiology of HIV SA and Sub-Saharan Africa for almost 20 years and in the last 10 years she paid particular attention to marginalized populations that are at higher risk for HIV acquisition and transmission together with her decade-long collaborators, Prof Stefan Baral, Johns Hopkins University; Prof Patrick Sullivan, Emory University and Prof Sharmistha Mishra, University of Toronto, among others. When COVID19 hit, she played a leading role in conducting ground-breaking COVID-19 studies together with her collaborators which attracted extensive media attention. She was awarded the NSTF TW Nkambule Award in 2017 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to science, technology and mathematics, 15 years after obtaining her PhD. Prof Phaswana-Mafuya served as Chair of the 9th SA AIDS Conference in 2019, the second largest medical meeting in the world. She is member of Dira Sengwe AIDS Conferences; Higher Health Board; Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF) Council, and NRF Board. She is also Scientific Advisory Committee member of the African Health Research Institute; and expert panelist at the International Expert Panel on Infectiology, German Research Foundation. She is an NRF rated scientist, fellow of the Academy of Science of South Africa, African Academy of Sciences (AAS), and Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OSWD). She recently authored an inspirational and empowerment book on her career journey: “Vision Never Dies #1, learning curves from my non-linear career journey from village girl to award-winning fighter of pandemics”. She was recently featured in the Fair Lady Magazine (March/April 2022 Issue) as one of the world-class women scientists.