Research honour for Robert Wilkinson

13 March 2015

Photo of Robert Wilkinson

The National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa grants an A1 rating to a researcher who is "recognised by all reviewers as a leading scholar in his/her field internationally for the high quality and wide impact (i.e. beyond a narrow field of specialisation) of his/her recent outputs". An A1 rating is a rare honour, reserved for the most distinguished researchers.

Robert Wilkinson carried out research for his PhD in the MRC Tuberculosis Unit at Hammersmith Hospital. After further research experience at the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and at Imperial College London, he was awarded a Wellcome Senior Clinical Fellowship in 2004 to work on HIV/TB at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He was made an Honorary Professor in 2007, and then Director of the Clinical Infectious Disease Research Initiative (CIDRI) in 2008. He is a member of UCT's Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine.

In 2007 he took up a joint appointment and became a Programme Leader at NIMR, based in Cape Town and in Mill Hill. He has built collaborative programmes with other researchers in London, both at NIMR and further afield. His major research interest is understanding and intervening in tuberculosis and HIV-associated tuberculosis.

At UCT he created CIDRI, which is seen as a model for research capacity development. CIDRI develops human and physical research capacity and promotes scientific collaboration in Southern Africa, focusing on high-burden infectious diseases relevant to the African continent.

Professor Gregory Hussey, Interim Dean of UCT Faculty of Health Sciences commented on the award:  'Robert's contribution to nurturing the new generation of clinician scientist, not only in South Africa, but beyond, is best summed up by IDM Director Prof Val Mizrahi's observation that Robert's ability to identify and nurture scientific talent is quite remarkable, as evidenced by his outstanding track record of producing professors!' 

Jim Smith, NIMR Director said:  'This is excellent news, and really well-deserved. Many congratulations to Robert!' 

Robert joined the Crick in April 2015 and will move into the new facilities at St Pancras in early 2016.

  • Robert Wilkinson has been awarded the South African National Research Foundation's highest rating.
  • The National Research Foundation (NRF) grants an A1 rating to a researcher who is "recognised by all reviewers as a leading scholar in his/her field internationally for the high quality and wide impact (i.e. beyond a narrow field of specialisation) of his/her recent outputs".
  • An A1 rating is a rare honour, reserved for the most distinguished researchers.