Maties professor again on Time100 list


Time Magazine has Prof Tulio de Oliveira in his first 2024 TimeRecognized 100 Health list, a new annual list celebrating 100 individuals who have had the greatest impact on international health this year.

This recognition, as determined by Time ‘s international network of editors, thought leaders and past honorees, is De Oliveira’s second appearance on Time ‘s influential ranking, and follows its inclusion in the 2022 Time100 list of the world’s most influential people. Click here for the full 2024 Time100 Health list and click here for De Oliveira’s post.

De Oliveira is a world-renowned scientist in the field of genomics. He is the director of the Center for Epidemic Response and Innovation (Ceri) at SU, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (Krisp) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) and deputy director of the genomic surveillance unit at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom.

In 2021, De Oliveira led a boundary-pushing multidisciplinary team of researchers and scientists in the discovery of the Omikron variant of SARS-CoV-2, which quickly emerged as the dominant global variant of this virus. In 2020, he led the team that discovered the SARS-CoV-2 Beta variant. De Oliveira has led several networks of scientists in South Africa and Africa in recent decades and in 2023 he launched the consortium Climate Amplified Diseases and Epidemics (Climade). It is a global consortium to characterize diseases and pathogens amplified by climate change.

Prof Sibusiso Moyo, vice-rector: research, innovation and postgraduate studies at SU, said in response to this remarkable achievement: “Prof Tulio de Oliveira’s tireless dedication to the advancement of scientific knowledge and his exceptional leadership in the field of genomics and bioinformatics is an example of the spirit of innovation and collaboration that defines our institution.”

De Oliveira says he feels extremely honored to be through again Time Magazine to be recognized and to be included in the prestigious Time100 Health list of 2024. “This recognition highlights the importance of collaborative research efforts to address global health challenges.”

He expressed his gratitude and added: “When I saw that the Covid-19 pandemic was waning, I decided to join our team of more than 100 scientists in South Africa and with the largest genomics facility in the world, the Wellcome Sanger Institute, to create a new program of work, this time to fight the multiple diseases exacerbated by climate change. This includes diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, the Zika virus, influenza and cholera.”

De Oliveira has already received numerous awards in his career for his contributions to public health and infectious disease research. In addition to the fact that he through the journal Nature was named one of the top ten people who helped transform science in 2021, he is also at the MIT Technology Reviewlist as one of the leaders of the top ten breakthrough technologies in 2022. He also received the Lifetime Leadership Award from Discovery Health and received the Order of Merit Medal from the Portuguese President, the Gold Medal Award from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMNR) and received the Batho Pele Award from the South African government for his contributions to society and was the winner of the German Africa Prize in 2022. His commitment to excellence and innovation inspires colleagues and researchers worldwide.

  • De Oliveira is also professor of bioinformatics at the SU School of Data Science and Computational Thinking and attached to the faculties of Natural Sciences and Medicine and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University.