Profile of Malegapuru William Makgoba
Malegapuru William Makgoba was born on 29 October 1952 in Sekhukhune, South Africa. He is an immunologist, physician, public health advocate, academic and Vice-Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal; and serves as a member of the National Planning Commission.
Prof. Makgoba is an internationally recognised molecular immunologist. He obtained a MBBCh degree from the University of Natal’s Medical School in 1976 and a DPhil degree in Human Immuno-Genetics from the University of Oxford in 1983. In 1999, he edited African Renaissance, a book recording the September 1998 Johannesburg conference on the African Renaissance. He has received many awards and distinctions, including the Science-for-Society Gold Medal of the Academy of Science of South Africa in 2002; the Gold Medal for Outstanding Leadership in Medical Research in 2001; and the National Science and Technology Forum’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Science, Engineering and Technology in South Africa in 1999.
In 2006, he was named as one of 65 Caring Physicians of the World by the World Medical Association in recognition for upholding the medical profession’s fundamental and enduring traditions of care, ethics and science. Prof. Makgoba also received the prestigious National Research Foundation President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary contribution to the development of science.
Prof. Makgoba is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal Society of South Africa. He is also a foreign associate member of the US National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine and a fellow of the College of Physicians of South Africa. He was elected as the new Vice-President for Scientific Planning and Review of the prestigious Paris-based International Council for Science in 2011.
Prof. Makgoba was appointed the first black Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in 1995. He left Wits to join the South African Medical Research Council, which he headed between 1999 and 2002, and was involved in developing South Africa’s AIDS strategy and the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative.