Malegapuru William Makgoba  MB,ChB. (Natal), DPhil. (Oxon), FRCP (Lond), FRS (SA), OMS

Prof M Makgoba Contact: Executive PA: Ms Jabu Msomi
Contact Number: +27 (0) 31 260 2227/8
Fax Number:
+27 (0) 31 262 2192


Professor Malegapuru William Makgoba (born 1952 in Sekhukhune, South Africa) is a South African immunologist, physician, public health advocate, a pioneer in higher education transformation, academic and former Vice-Chancellor & Principal of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

An internationally-recognised molecular immunologist, Makgoba's research has made seminal contributions to identifying and understanding the cell surface molecules and genes important in the human immune system's response. A global leader in HIV vaccine research, he has served in the leadership of the South African AIDS Vaccine Initiative, as the founding chair of the UNAIDS/WHO African Aids Vaccine Programme and as a founding member of the Global HIV Vaccine Enterprise.

In addition to being a recipient of the “Caring Physicians in the World” award by the World Medical Association, he has received numerous awards and honors, including fellowships at both the Royal College of Physicians of London and Imperial College Faculty of Medicine. He is a founding member of the Academy of Science of South Africa and a foreign associate member of the Institute of Medicine of the US Academies of Science. Prof Makgoba is a member of the National Planning Commission and was special advisor to minister of Science and Technology.

Professor Makgoba joined the former university of Natal as its first african vice-chancellor and principal in September 2002, after serving as the first african President of the Medical Research Council of South Africa for four years. He led the successful merger of the University of Durban-Westville and University of Natal to create the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He also led the transformation processes of UKZN, establishing it as 'the most transformed higher education institution in South Africa.' Under Makgoba's leadership, UKZN is host to the largest HIV and AIDS research programs on the African continent: the National Institutes for Health-funded Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and the Wellcome Trust-funded Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies.

Professor Makgoba is currently Vice-President of the International Council for Science (ICSU), Chairperson of the Health Science Review Committee and Chairperson of the Transformation Oversight Committee of Public Universities.

Professor Makgoba was honoured by President Jacob Zuma with the Order of Mapungubwe (Silver) 'for his dedication and excellent contribution to the field of science and medicine, locally and internationally; and for his contribution to the building of democracy in South Africa. He is an outstanding academic and a pioneer of transformation in higher education.'

The eThekwini Living Legends Award was awarded to Professor Malegapuru Makgoba for his critical contribution to the field of medicine. The Awards acknowledge individuals with ‘outstanding achievements, and those who have demonstrated a sustained and extraordinary contribution in various categories of expertise’.

Professor Makgoba has been awarded the MRC President’s Award for Exceptional Contributions to Medical Research. The Award was made in recognition of his exceptional contributions to medical research and is among the highest honours bestowed by the MRC.

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