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IAS President Adeeba Kamarulzaman appointed to WHO Science Council

The International AIDS Society (AIS) has welcomed the appointment of its President, Adeeba Kamarulzaman, to the newly formed World Health Organization (WHO) Science Council.

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The Science Council will advise WHO on high-priority scientific issues that could have a direct impact on global health.

“Science must be at the heart of everything we do as global health advocates,” Kamarulzaman said. “Like the HIV pandemic, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the best and most effective responses have come from countries that have followed the advice of their key scientific institutions and placed the needs of their populations at the centre.”

The Science Council comprises nine members representing all regions, including a Nobel Laureate as its chair:

  • Prof Harold Varmus, Nobel Laureate, Weill Cornell, USA (Chair)
  • Dr Salim Abdool Karim, Director of the Centre for the AIDS program of research in South Africa (CAPRISA), South Africa
  • Dr Edith Heard, Director General of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), United Kingdom
  • Prof Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Professor of Medicine & Infectious Diseases, and President, International AIDS Society, Malaysia
  • Dr Mary-Claire King, Professor of Genome Sciences and Associate Director, Medical Scientist, University of Washington, USA
  • Prof Abla Mehio Sibai, Professor of Epidemiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Lebanon
  • Dr Denis Mukwege, Gynaecolist and Nobel Peace Laureate, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Dr Bill Pape, Director and Founder of Gheskio, Haiti
  • Dr Yongyuth Yuthavong, Senior Specialist, National Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, NSTDA, Thailand

The Science Council will hold its first meeting on 27 April 2021, where it will decide on initial steps and program of work.

Professor Kamarulzaman was appointed President of the International AIDS Society in July 2020.

A graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, trained in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Professor Kamarulzaman is currently Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Malaya, an Adjunct Associate Professor at Yale University, USA. She established the Infectious Diseases Unit at the University of Malaya Medical Centre and, in 2008, the Centre of Excellence for Research in AIDS (CERiA) at the same university.

As convener of the Malaysian Harm Reduction Working Group of the Malaysian AIDS Council, she successfully advocated for the implementation of harm reduction measures to tackle HIV amongst people who inject drugs in Malaysia. She was President of the Malaysian AIDS Council from 2006 to 2010 where she remains an Executive Committee member. She also serves as Chairwoman of the Malaysian AIDS Foundation.

Kamarulzaman has been involved in several regional and international organizations including TREAT Asia, the International Society of Infectious Diseases, and was Co-Chair of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee on HIV and is presently a member of the UNAIDS Advisory Group.

She was the Scientific Co-Chair of the 18th International AIDS Conference in Vienna in 2010 and local chair of the 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (now IAS Conference on HIV Science) in Kuala Lumpur in 2013. In April 2015 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from her alma mater, Monash University, for her outstanding achievements in medicine.

OIP Staff


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