It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Professor Bongani Mayosi, Dean of the Faculty of Health at the University of Cape Town.
Just last year ( 2017), the National Research Foundation (NRF) recognised the team Professor Mayosi led for its discovery of a gene mutation responsible for Arrthythmogenic Right Ventricle Cardiomyopathy (ARVC). The mutation could cause sudden deaths in people younger than 35 years particularly during athletic activity. The discovery of this mutation was a profound example of meticulous painstaking work and international collaboration. The team followed a family for over 20 years after two siblings died due to ARVC.
In 2017 Professor Mayosi received the NRF A-Rating, which is a recognition of a researcher by his or her peers as a leading international scholar in their field based on the high quality and impact of their recent research outputs. This followed a previous recognition of Professor Mayosi by the NRF when in 2011 he was a recipient of the Transformation of the Science Cohort Award.
Professor Mayosi never forgot the challenges he had to overcome, and he therefore dedicated himself to mentoring and supporting students faced with similar challenges.
South Africa has lost a brilliant mind, a kind and gentle soul and an advocate for the scientific research project who still had a lot to contribute. We, at the NRF, deeply mourn his passing as he was a true friend of our organization and a champion of our mission.
On behalf of the entire NRF, I would like to convey our truly felt condolences to the Mayosi family, his colleagues and the many students whose lives he had touched.
Dr Molapo Qhobela
Chief Executive Officer: National Research Foundation