Helen Rees

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Founder and Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WRHI) of the University of Witwatersrand

Helen Rees

Helen Rees is the Founder and Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (WRHI) at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (South Africa), where she is also a Ad Hominem  Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Dr Rees is internationally renowned for her work in vaccines, HIV prevention and reproductive health.

Dr Rees has chaired numerous advisory groups and committees including WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE), WHO’s Expert Committee on HPV vaccines and WHO’s HIV Vaccine Expert Committee. In her capacity as SAGE Chair, she served on WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.

Dr Rees currently serves on WHO’s Polio Research Committee, on the SAGE Decade of Vaccines Working Group and on the SAGE Measles and Rubella Working Group. In addition, she is on the board of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the AVAC, a global organisation which advocates for HIV prevention research. She is also a member of several scientific committees, including the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine ImmunologyImmunogen Discovery, the Scientific Advisory Board of the United States National Institutes for Health (NIH) Microbicide Advisory Committee, the Population Council’s Microbicide Advisory Committee, and the WHO/UNAIDS Steering Committee on Pre-exposure prophylaxis.

She is a member of the Wellcome Trust’s Population and Public Health Expert Review Group and an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (UK) and serves on their Visiting Committee. She is an alumnus of Cambridge University (UK) and Harvard Business School (USA).


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