Sikhulile Moyo named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential for 2022

Sikhulile Moyo
Sikhulile Moyo

May 24, 2022 – Sikhulile Moyo, the Botswana-based researcher who helped alert the world about the existence of the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus, has been named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2022.

Moyo, director of the Botswana-Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership (BHP) lab and a research associate in immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, noticed an unusual pattern while sequencing COVID-19 samples in mid-November, and shared his findings with colleagues in South Africa, who also found the new sequence. The South African researcher who helped identify and report the variant, Tulio de Oliveira, director of South Africa’s Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation, was also named to TIME’s list.

John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote about Moyo and de Oliveira in a May 23, 2022 article in TIME.

Noting that scientists in Africa have been monitoring and sequencing pathogens since long before the COVID-19 pandemic, he wrote, “Every generation has people who inspire subsequent generations. Sikhulile and Tulio have the potential to be that for people who will work in public health and genomics. We have not seen the end of their contributions.”

Read the TIME magazine article: Tulio de Oliveira and Sikhulile Moyo

Read a BHP press release: Dr Sikhulile Moyo named to TIME’s annual TIME100 list of the 100 most influential people in the world

Learn more

Opinion: Botswana lab that identified omicron is model for global health goals (Harvard Chan School news)

Botswana researcher who sequenced Omicron urges more genomic surveillance, vaccinations in Africa (Harvard Chan School feature)