Time Magazine shared its 14th annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world and Wits University academic, Glenda Gray, made it under the ‘Pioneers’ category alongside hip hop artist Chance the Rapper, Ivanka Trump, and actor comedian Jordan Peele.
Gray was chosen by TIME Magazine executive editor Siobhan O’Connor because of her ongoing HIV-vaccine study which has been the largest of its kind ever conducted in South Africa.
“Gray decided to fight the virus and the silence around it through research. Thanks in part to her work on mother-to-child transmission, the number of babies born with HIV has dropped from 600,000 a year to 150,000,” O’Connor said.
According to TIME, the most influential list includes Presidents and Prime Ministers, CEOs and celebrities and others of “less fame but great force, in the power of their inventions, the scale of their ambitions, and the genius of their solutions to problems that no one before them could solve.”
The Witsie has since recieved praise from South Africans for making it on the list.
Congrats Glenda Gray. If you serve humanity the best you know how your peers that are committed to changing the world for common good notice https://t.co/ihwmfaQY0c
— Adv Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) April 29, 2017
A moment with @Trevornoah and Dr Glenda Gray – she was an inspiration for my work in S.Africa on preventing mother to child HIV transmission pic.twitter.com/8H3Z3rkl3Z
— Mary-Ann Etiebet (@MEtiebetMD) April 26, 2017
Gray also made headlines at the beginning of April for being appointed the first African female chair of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases (GACD) where she chatted to Wits Vuvuzela about her appointment. She also currently holds the position of the President of the South African Medi-cal Research Council (MRC).
According to Wits News, the Wits Alumni graduated from Wits medical school in 1986 and in 1996 she and James McIntyre co-founded the Perinatal HIV Research Unit, based in Soweto.
Last year a fellow Wits scientist also made it onto the most influential list. Professor Lee Burger was named on the list of Pioneers as well for his explorations into human origins in Africa and the Homo Naledi discovery.
When the Wits professor isn’t busy doing scientific research or fulfilling her duties of chair of the GACD or president of the MRC she enjoys her own quality time. In an earlier interview she told Wits Vuvuvzela that she enjoys listening to music, watching great art movies, swimming or drinking red wine in winter.