Unprecedented Innovations and Technologies: HIV and change


Prof Refilwe Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya

Prof Refilwe Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya is the Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research & Innovation at North West University (from October 2017).  Before joining North West University, she was Acting Executive Director and Research Director at the Human Sciences Research Council, HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Research Programme (Jan 2005 to September 2017). She is dually trained as an Epidemiologist and Social Scientist (PGD (Epi), MSc (Epi), MA(SW), PhD) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London and University of the North respectively. She obtained prestigious international epidemiology training fellowships from the Wellcome Trust (UK) and London/Nagasaki (UK). Prof Phaswana-Mafuya served as principal investigator for various HIV collaborative studies with Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, International Labour Organization, German Government's Technical Development Agency, University of California San Francisco, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, National Health Laboratory Services, among others: Methods of Prevention Packages Program - testing the feasibility and acceptability of an HIV combination prevention among MSM in South Africa; Key Population Implementation Science: Leveraging community and peer-based approaches to impact the HIV treatment cascade among men who have sex with men in South Africa; Integrated Biological and Behavioral Surveillance with Population Size Estimation using RDS among MSM in South Africa and in Ghana, Characterizing Strategies to Prevent Mother to Child Transmission of HIV among FSWs in South Africa, 10-country study on what works in HIV and AIDS and the world of work

Prof Phaswana-Mafuya is a nationally and internationally recognized scientist with an outstanding scientific track record in HIV/AIDS, i.e. 99 peer reviewed journal publications, 2 books, 9 book chapters and many technical reports, national and international conference presentations. She obtained the 2016/2017 TW Kambule-NSTF prestigious award in recognition of her contribution to research and its outputs over a period of 15 years after the award of her PhD. She is a fellow of the African Academy of Science, the Academy of Science of South Africa, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World and a National Research Foundation C2 rated researcher. She serve/d in various national and international expert panels including: UNAIDS advisory panel on Think politically about HIV/AIDS”, International AIDS Society Social and Political Research Advisory Group, German Research Foundation Panel on Infectiology, African Union Commission Kwame Nkrumah Awards for Scientific Excellence advisory group on rules of procedures, the Network of Academies of Science in Africa Expert Group, member of the South African National AIDS Council Strategic Plan Key Population Technical Working Group,  DHET Health Sciences sub-panel for assessment of scholarly books and conference proceedings as well as ministerial appointee at University of Venda Council and King Sabata Dalindyebo TVET College Councils. She has also served as Editor-in-Chief/Executive Editor of SAHARA Journal, Chair of the 6 th SAHARA Conference in 2011 and Chair of Satellite Session on key populations in Sub Saharan Africa at the XIX International AIDS Conference (Washington DC, July 2012). She has also served as member of SADC HIV Prevention and Research working groups. She is currently board member of Higher Education AIDS and chairs the technical advisory committee, Council member of the Academy of Science of South Africa as well as member of the National Board of the International Council for Science.


She has a passion for developing young scientists. She serve/d in various roles in the South African Young Academy of Science, the National Science and Technology Forum Share and Dare Programme and the  Southern African young scientists summer programme (SA-YSSP) (e.g. selection committee member, mentor, supervisor, guest speaker, science motivator, etc.). She has also co-supervised and mentored local and international masters, doctoral and postdoctoral fellows in her research projects.