Our President

Glenda Gray

Biography

President and Chief Executive Officer: SAMRC

Professor Glenda Gray is the first female President and CEO of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). She is the Chair of the Research Committee on COVID-19, bringing together scientific evidence and experience to the Minister of Health and the National Coronavirus Command Council. Gray spearheads the SAMRC funding broadly and for COVID-19.

In her first five year tenure at the helm of the SAMRC, the organisation experienced five consecutive clean audits, transformed grant funding initiatives that significantly improved funding for young scientists, black African scientists and women; and established key collaborations and partnerships that will significantly progress scientific research.

Gray studied medicine and paediatrics at Wits University where she remains a Full Professor: Research in the School of Clinical Medicine. A National Research Foundation A1-rated scientist, Gray is world-renowned for her research in HIV vaccines and interventions to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV. She co-founded and led, with James McIntyre, the globally eminent Perinatal HIV Research Unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.  For this work, she and McIntyre received the Nelson Mandela Health and Human Rights Award in 2002.

She is co-Principal Investigator of the National Institutes of Health-funded HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and directs the programme in Africa. Amongst many others, Gray’s accolades include the Hero of Medicine Award from the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care, and the Outstanding Africa Scientist Award from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership.

Forbes named Gray one of Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women and TIME as one of the world’s 100 Most Influential people. In 2013, she was awarded South Africa’s highest honour, the Order of Mapungubwe. Her qualifications include MBBCh (Wits), FCPaeds (SA), DSc (honoris causa Simon Fraser University), DSc (honoris causa Stellenbosch University), and LLD (honoris causa Rhodes University)

Factsheet: A five year success story

Key Achievements Timeline: A career Dedicated to Research

Download Professor Glenda E. Gray's complete timeline

Publications

List of 10 most significant publications/broadcasts

  1. Gray GE, Mayer KH, Elizaga ML, Bekker LG, Allen M, Morris L, Montefiori D, De Rosa SC, Sato A, Gu N, Tomaras GD, Tucker T,  Barnett SW, Mkhize NN, Shen X, Downing K, Williamson C, Pensiero M, Corey L, Williamson AL. Subtype C gp140 Vaccine Boosts  Immune Responses Primed by the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative DNA-C2 and MVA-C HIV Vaccines after More than a 2-Year  Gap. Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2016 Jun 6;23(6):496-506. doi: 10.1128/CVI.00717-15. Print 2016 Jun. PubMed PMID: 27098021; PubMed  Central PMCID: PMC4895009.
  2. Gray GE, Laher F, Doherty T, Abdool Karim S, Hammer S, Mascola J, Beyrer C, Corey L. Which New Health Technologies Do We Need to Achieve an End to HIV/AIDS? PLoS Biol. 2016 Mar 2;14(3):e1002372. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002372.  eCollection 2016 Mar. Erratum in: PLoS Biol. 2016 Jun;14(6):e1002487. PubMed PMID: 26933962; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4774984.
  3. Gray GE, Moodie Z, Metch B, Gilbert PB, Bekker LG, Churchyard G, Nchabeleng M, Mlisana K, Laher F, Roux S, Mngadi  K, Innes C, Mathebula M, Allen M, McElrath MJ, Robertson M, Kublin J, Corey L; HVTN 503/Phambili study team.  Recombinant adenovirus type 5 HIV gag/pol/nef vaccine in South Africa: unblinded, long-term follow-up of the phase 2b  HVTN 503/Phambili study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2014 May;14(5):388-96. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(14)70020-9. Epub 2014 Feb  20. PubMed PMID: 24560541; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4174314.
  4. Nielsen-Saines K, Watts DH, Veloso VG, Bryson YJ, Joao EC, Pilotto JH, Gray G, Theron G, Santos B, Fonseca R,  Kreitchmann R, Pinto J, Mussi-Pinhata MM, Ceriotto M, Machado D, Bethel J, Morgado MG, Dickover R, Camarca M,  Mirochnick M, Siberry G, Grinsztejn B, Moreira RI, Bastos FI, Xu J, Moye J, Mofenson LM; NICHD HPTN 040/PACTG 1043  Protocol Team. Three postpartum antiretroviral regimens to prevent intrapartum HIV infection. N Engl J Med. 2012 Jun  21;366(25):2368-79. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1108275. PubMed PMID: 22716975; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3590113.
  5. Becquet R, Marston M, Dabis F, Moulton LH, Gray G, Coovadia HM, Essex M, Ekouevi DK, Jackson D, Coutsoudis A,  Kilewo C, Leroy V, Wiktor SZ, Nduati R, Msellati P, Zaba B, Ghys PD, Newell ML; UNAIDS Child Survival Group. Children  who acquire HIV infection perinatally are at higher risk of early death than those acquiring infection through breastmilk: a  meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e28510. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0028510. Epub 2012 Feb 23. PubMed PMID:  22383946; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3285615.
  6. Martinson NA, Barnes GL, Moulton LH, Msandiwa R, Hausler H, Ram M, McIntyre JA, Gray GE, Chaisson RE. New  regimens to prevent tuberculosis in adults with HIV infection. N Engl J Med. 2011 Jul 7;365(1):11-20. doi:  10.1056/NEJMoa1005136. PubMed PMID: 21732833; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3407678.
  7. Gray GE, Allen M, Moodie Z, Churchyard G, Bekker LG, Nchabeleng M, Mlisana K, Metch B, de Bruyn G, Latka MH, Roux  S, Mathebula M, Naicker N, Ducar C, Carter DK, Puren A, Eaton N, McElrath MJ, Robertson M, Corey L, Kublin JG;  HVTN 503/Phambili study team. Safety and efficacy of the HVTN 503/Phambili study of a clade-B-based HIV-1 vaccine in South Africa: a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled test-of-concept phase 2b study. Lancet Infect Dis. 2011 Jul;11(7):507-15. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(11)70098-6. Epub 2011 May 11. Erratum in: Lancet Infect Dis. 2011  Jul;11(7):495. PubMed PMID: 21570355; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3417349.
  8. Marston M, Becquet R, Zaba B, Moulton LH, Gray G, Coovadia H, Essex M, Ekouevi DK, Jackson D, Coutsoudis A,  Kilewo C, Leroy V, Wiktor S, Nduati R, Msellati P, Dabis F, Newell ML, Ghys PD. Net survival of perinatally and postnatally HIV-infected children: a pooled analysis of individual data from sub-Saharan Africa. Int J Epidemiol. 2011 Apr;40(2):385-96.  doi: 10.1093/ije/dyq255. Epub 2011 Jan 18. PubMed PMID: 21247884; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3140269.
  9. McIntyre JA, Hopley M, Moodley D, Eklund M, Gray GE, Hall DB, Robinson P, Mayers D, Martinson NA. Efficacy of short-course AZT plus 3TC to reduce nevirapine resistance in the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission: a randomized  clinical trial. PLoS Med. 2009 Oct;6(10):e1000172. doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1000172. Epub 2009 Oct 27. PubMed PMID:  19859531; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2760761.
  10. Gray GE, Urban M, Chersich MF, Bolton C, van Niekerk R, Violari A, Stevens W, McIntyre JA; PEP Study Group. A  randomized trial of two postexposure prophylaxis regimens to reduce mother-to-child HIV-1 transmission in infants of  untreated mothers. AIDS. 2005 Aug 12;19(12):1289-97. PubMed PMID: 16052084.