SA Scientists Make Time Magazine 100 Most Influential List for Groundbreaking Discovery of Omicron Variant

SA Scientists Make Time Magazine 100 Most Influential List for Groundbreaking Discovery of Omicron Variant

  • Two local scientists were honoured for their research in discovering the Covid-19 Omicron variant last year
  • Professor Tulio de Oliveira and Dr Sikhulile Moyo have been selected for Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2022 feature
  • According to the magazine, the pair’s work was a transformational moment and a shift in paradigm during the pandemic

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Professor Tulio de Oliveira and Dr Sikhulile Moyo, who discovered the Covid-19 Omicron variant, have been selected for Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2022 feature.

De Oliveira is a professor of bioinformatics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Stellenbosch University.

Moyo is a Stellenbosch alumnus who obtained his PhD in medical virology at the university in 2016 and now serves as laboratory director at the Botswana Harvard Aids Institute Partnership.

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SA Scientists, TIME 100 Most Influential List, Omicron Variant
SA-based scientists Dr Sikhulile Moyo and Professor Tulio de Oliveira have made it onto Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2022 list. Image: Stellenbosch University/Facebook
Source: UGC

The two scientists are recognised for their work in the field of genomics and epidemiology. In November 2021, they led the multidisciplinary team who discovered the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, which quickly became the dominant strain of the virus globally, The News Hawks reports.

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In November of 2021, Prof De Oliveira and Dr Moyo "led the multidisciplinary team of researchers and scientists" who discovered the Omicron variant, Jacaranda FM stated.

According to Time, their work was a transformational moment and a shift in paradigm - one that symbolised that excellence in science can originate in Africa:

“Every generation has people who inspire subsequent generations. Sikhulile and Tulio have the potential to be that for people who will work in public health and genomics."

South Africans were inspired by the scientists' groundbreaking study and for being honoured by such a prestigious publication. Check out some of the responses on Facebook:

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Halala: SA young scientist wins award and R16 000 at USA science and engineering fair

Jacqueline Garcia commented:

“Well deserved.”

Luanna Perez

“Like the Zambia President said. We have our own scientists.”

Marina Botha wrote:

“Congratulations to both of them.”

Seus Weiss said:

“Black brains as good as any other.”

Young SA scientist wins award and R16 000 at USA science and engineering fair

Meanwhile, Briefly News previously reported that Stellenbosch Grade 11 learner, Dashayin “Dash” Gilbert, made quite the impression at the world’s largest pre-college science competition, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Atlanta, USA. He was presented with the Third Award in the physics and astronomy category.

The 16-year-old Curro Durbanville learner was awarded more than R16 000 for the research project entitled, “Formula One Aerodynamics”. He was selected to compete in the Science Fair by winning

Source: Briefly News

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