African Academy of Sciences Fellow Prof Collen Masimirembwa is this year's winner of the Hugo African Award for Research in Africa

The award is given to an individual:

  • who has performed extraordinary work in biomedical sciences which has changed the thinking in the field where important technology was developed; and/or
  • who has uncovered new insights which brought forth new therapies; and/or
  • whose lifetime contribution has significantly impact the African region and who has primary affiliation in Africa

His groundbreaking research includes the discovery of a gene variant carried by many Zimbabweans that slows their ability to break down efavirenz, leading the drug to accumulate in the bloodstream,  hallucinations and depression. The research lays a strong foundation for precision medicine.

Prof Masimirembwa, who is the founder and President of the Zimbabwe-based African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology, received the prize at the Human Genome Meeting, which took place last week in Japan.

He said: "I therefore feel highly honored to have received this award. Above all, this award is a result of the collective efforts of many of my collaborators, friends, students, and funders. I therefore want to share this recognition with you and thank you all for all the support you give to me and the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology. "