If one were to list all the titles and positions held by Prof Helen Rees, who is leading the SA part of a global trial to identify treatments for Covid-19, there would be no space to write anything else.

But, in a nutshell, the gynaecology professor has been involved in World Health Organisation (WHO) committees on vaccines and the elimination of polio; she is the head of SA’s medicine regulator and the scientific advisory chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, an international group that prepares vaccine technology in expectation of epidemics such as Covid-19; and she is a scientific adviser to the US National Institutes of Health...

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