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Dr Nelly Mugo becomes 1st recipient of Gita Ramjee Prize at HIVR4P //Virtual 2021

Dr Nelly Mugo becomes 1st recipient of Gita Ramjee Prize at HIVR4P //Virtual 2021

The winner of the inaugural Gita Ramjee Prize says she will continue to honour Aurum’s late Chief Scientific Officer through her work on HIV prevention.

Dr Nelly Mugo, was reacting to becoming the first recipient of the Gita Ramjee Prize at the virtual HIV Research for Prevention Conference (HIVR4P) on 28 January 2021. The prize recognises leading female scientists in the field of HIV prevention research, who demonstrate the principles and practices Professor Gita Ramjee embodied in her life and career. These are a commitment to generate evidence, uplift disadvantaged communities and promote gender transformation.

The US$5000 prize was established by the The Aurum Institute, in collaboration with the International Aids Society (IAS) and will be awarded at every HIVR4P conference.

“I had known Gita for well over 15 years and held her in high regard, COVID has once again taken away from this community a scientist who made tremendous contribution to HIV prevention science. Alongside many of us, I mourned the loss of Gita, and I am pleased that through this award, we shall remember her contributions to African women’s health. It is my hope that this award will be a reminder and a source of encouragement for women scientists working in the HIV prevention field,” said Mugo.

Mugo the Senior Principal Clinical Research Scientist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI and a Research Associate Professor at the University of Washington (USA), Department of Global Health.

Conferring the prize, Aurum Group CEO Professor Gavin Churchyard, said he was delighted to award Mugo for her abstract titled; Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of 90-day intravaginal rings (IVRs) releasing tenofovir (TFV) with and without levonorgestrel (LNG) among women in Western Kenya.

Mugo praised her team; “It was the first intravaginal ring studying for HIV prevention that's been done on the continent, and we worked with a large team of very committed and dedicated people,” she said.

“They all made it possible so that we could do high-quality work and show that the intravaginal ring is safe and that it has a high probability of efficacy. It is my hope that this will lead to more work in this field,” said Mugo.

Click here to watch The IAS/Aurum Institute Gita Ramjee Prize announcement at the HIVR4P conference