Cochrane South Africa mourns the loss of Professor Bongani Mayosi
Professor Bongani Mayosi, one of the world’s top cardiologist, passed away on 27 July 2018.
Professor Mayosi was a member of the Advisory Board of Cochrane South Africa for many years and served as the chair from 2007 to 2009. He was a strong proponent of the work done by Cochrane and co-authored three Cochrane Reviews. We will always be eternally grateful for his guidance and support. He was an inspiration to us all.
“I am so devastated. Bongani and I have come a long way. He was my connection to Cochrane and to South Africa” says Professor Charles Wiysonge, Director of Cochrane South Africa. “In 2000, Bongani sent me the advert for the fellowship that led me to Cochrane, and in 2004 he convinced me to relocate from Cameroon to South Africa”, he added.
In 2006‚ at the age of 38‚ Professor Mayosi became the first black person to be made Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town. “We work where angels fear to tread‚” he said of the type of research he and his colleagues tackled.
Professor Mayosi received many awards and honours during his distinguished career. In 2009 he was awarded the South African highest honour, the Order of Mapungubwe (Silver); he was elected to the Fellowship of the World Academy of Arts and Science (2013); he received the National Research Foundation Award for Transforming the Science Cohort in South Africa (2011). Since 2011 he had been advising the South African Minister of Health on the policy and strategy for health research in his capacity as the National Health Research Committee chair. Last year he was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in the US, the only African on the highly prestigious list. Professor Mayosi published over 300 peer-reviewed academic articles individually and collectively. He was part of the team which discovered one of the genes responsible for causing the life threatening heart disease arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, this discovery was regarded as one of the most important medical advances in South Africa since the first human heart transplantation. Apart from being world famous for his gene discovery‚ he was also highly regarded for his work on preventing rheumatic fever and on tuberculosis of the heart. He led a groundbreaking series of multinational research studies into the management of pericarditis‚ including an African trial of the use of steroids in treating tuberculous pericarditis. These are just a few of his many achievements.
For the past two years Professor Mayosi was Dean of the Health Sciences Faculty at the University of Cape Town. He was much loved and respected by his students, fellow researchers and peers. He worked tirelessly to improve the health of people in low and middle-income countries.
We will miss Professor Mayosi dearly.
May his soul rest in peace.