Imperial Professor achieves highest South African rating


Prof Robert Wilkinson

Professor Robert Wilkinson is awarded an A1 rating from the South African National Research Foundation

Colleagues and students within the Faculty of Medicine were recently delighted by the news that Robert J Wilkinson, Professor in Infectious Diseases at Imperial, Director of the Clinical Infectious Disease Research Initiative (CIDRI) and Member of the Institute for Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM) has been awarded an A1 rating – the highest – by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF).

The 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 thus a rare honour, reserved for the most distinguished researchers.  There are only about 30 such A1 rated scientists in the entire country across all disciplines.

“I’m honoured to gain South African national recognition, and never knew there were so few such researchers so recognised,” was the reaction of Prof Wilkinson. “We are delighted at the news,” says Director of IGHI, Professor the Lord Ara Darzi.

Professor Wilkinson’s major research interest is understanding and intervening in tuberculosis and HIV-associated tuberculosis. The research has broken new ground in understanding the spectrum of how the immune system controls or fails to control TB, how HIV, antiretroviral therapy and vitamin D impacts this, and how the immune system sometimes contributes to the TB disease process through excessive inflammation.

His research has also tested new strategies for preventing TB and findings have influenced international guidelines.

We congratulate him for his dedication and passion that has catapulted him as one of the top rated researchers in the country.


Jo Seed

Jo Seed
Institute of Global Health Innovation

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