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Professor Lynn Morris

Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation

Prof. Lynn Morris is an A-rated, internationally recognised scientist with demonstrable experience in research management and leadership. She completed her undergraduate studies at Wits University and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. She is internationally recognised for her work in understanding the antibody response to HIV and is responsible for conducting validated end-point assays for HIV vaccine clinical trials.

She was previously the interim Executive Director of the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and has led the NICD through two major health crises, the listeria outbreak of 2017/8 and the current COVID-19 pandemic. She served in leadership roles on various national and international bodies including the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine at the University of Cape Town, the Poliomyelitis Research Foundation, and the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise based in New York. 

Prof. Morris held joint appointments as a Research Professor in the School of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences at Wits, and Head of the HIV Virology Lab in the Centre for HIV & STIs at the National Health Laboratory Service. She is also an Honorary Senior Scientist at the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA).

Prof. Morris is a hands-on academic and researcher who has supervised numerous postgraduate and postdoctoral students. 

She has published 270 journal articles, 11 book chapters and has registered five patents and 11 scientific opinions. She has consistently been included in the Web of Science list of the most highly cited researchers in the world for her work in the area of HIV and Aids.

She is also a member of Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), the Royal Society of South Africa (FRSSA) and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).

Globally critically acclaimed, Prof. Morris won the Wits Vice-Chancellor’s Research Award in 2014, the South African Medical Research Council’s Gold Medal in 2015, the prestigious Harry Oppenheimer Fellowship Award in 2017, and the World Academy of Sciences Prize in Medical Sciences in 2018.