Dear colleagues and students
I write to announce that Professor Carolyn Williamson has been appointed as the interim dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, effective 1 October 2018.
Professor Williamson obtained a PhD in microbiology from the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 1988. Since then she has worked on viral diseases at the South African Institute for Medical Research and later at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases. She was appointed professor in 2009, and head of Medical Virology in 2010 as a joint appointment between UCT and the National Health Laboratory Service.
Professor Williamson has over 150 peer-reviewed publications in international journals, and is a member of various scientific advisory boards. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa, a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and a research associate of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa.
Her outstanding research has made a significant contribution to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of HIV transmission, and to illuminating the characteristics of the transmitted virus. Her research demonstrates how these characteristics influence both the risk of infection and disease progression. Having also been involved in developing and testing candidate HIV vaccines, Professor Wiliamson’s research aims to inform vaccine design and ultimately the discovery of an HIV cure.
Professor Williamson will be at the helm of the faculty until 30 September 2019 while the appointment process for a substantive dean continues.
I wish to thank Professor Reno Morar, who has been acting dean following the passing of Professor Bongani Mayosi, and the deanery for managing the faculty during a particularly difficult time for the UCT community.
Please join me in wishing Professor Williamson well in this role.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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