SPARK Africa co-director Tulio de Oliveira named in Nature’s 10

Posted on January 7th, 2022

SPARK Africa co-director Tulio de Oliveira was recognized as one of 10 people who helped shape science in 2021 by Nature magazine in December. Prof. de Oliveira, who is founder and director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) at University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, and colleagues discovered the SARS-CoV-2 variant now known as Beta in 2020, and in November first identified the Omicron variant in South Africa.

Prof. de Oliveira and KRISP’s genomic surveillance work is some of the best in the world and has allowed rapid monitoring of epidemics and viral outbreaks in South Africa and other locations. As the Nature story noted, his work has also influenced policymaking, “pioneering a new way of science responding to epidemics.”

Nature said the selection, which includes FDA’s Janet Woodcock alongside other luminaries, is compiled by Nature’s editors to highlight key events in science through their stories.

Congratulations to Prof. de Oliveira on a well-deserved recognition!