International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) advises the Governing Board on strategic and scientific matters.

The Committee comprised the following members:

  • Siamon Gordon, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford (Chair), UK
  • Alash’le Abimiku, Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria & University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA
  • Sir Tom L. Blundell, Department of Biochemistry, Director of Research, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Ken Duncan, Global Health Discovery, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, USA
  • Andrew Kambugu, Infectious Diseases Institute, University College of Health Sciences, Kampala, Uganda
  • Alberto Kornblihtt, Laboratorio de Fisiología y Biología Molecular, University of Buenos Aires, Agentina
  • Lynn Morris, NICD & University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
  • David Russell, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, New York, USA
  • Malik Peiris, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Frank Slack, Director of the Harvard Medical School Initiative for RNA Medicine & Director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Cancer Research Institute, USA


The IDM has the following governing bodies:

The Board provides governance and strategic direction to the IDM, reporting to the University Senate through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation. Other Members of the Board were as follows:

  • Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences
  • Dean of the Faculty of Science
  • IDM Director (ex officio)
  • IDM Deputy Director (ex officio)
  • Two Full IDM Members, elected by the IDM Members, Linda-Gail Bekker and Ed Rybicki presently hold these portfolios.

The Director is an academic based within an academic department, but is responsible for the implementation of policy and the promotion of IDM objectives. Day to day administration is reported to the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, who in turn reports to the Chair of the URC. Digby Warner was appointed to this position in January 2024.


The nominated Deputy Director is appointed on a three-year term to support the Director. The Deputy Director is an academic based within an academic department, but is responsible for the financial and operational matters in the IDM. Day to day administration is reported to the Director. Jonathan Blackburn was appointed to this position in October 2018.


This Committee meets every 2 months and assists the Director in the management of the IDM. Two IDM Members are appointed to this Committee by the Director in consultation with the IDM Membership; plus a Faculty representative who is nominated by the Faculty Executive Committee, and appointed by the Director. The present committee members are:

Valerie Mizrahi, Chair
Jonathan Blackburn, Deputy Chair, reporting on IDM Operations and Finance
Yolande Harley, Faculty of Health Sciences representative, Director of Faculty Research
Jo-Ann Passmore, IDM Member, reporting on activities of the Education Committee (Chair)
Muki Shey, IDM Member, reporting on activities of the Transformation Committee (Chair)
Selisha Naidoo, IDM Health & Safety, Biosafety and Facilities Manager
Christle de Beer, IDM Research Enterprise Manager