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Professor Ali Dhansay

Portrait of Professor Ali Dhansay

Muhammad Ali Dhansay (Ali) is the Medical Director and Chief Specialist Scientist in the Burden of Disease Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) in Cape Town.  He is the past Director of the MRC’s Nutritional Intervention Research Unit, as well as MRC Vice-President: Research (2007 – 2012).

He obtained his medical degree (MBChB) at the University of Cape Town; Diploma in Child Health and Fellowship in Paediatrics with the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa; and MMed (Paed) at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He has expertise in Paediatrics and Child Health, and Maternal and Paediatric Nutrition, with a special interest in Research Integrity, Ethics and Human Rights.  He has extensive experience in health and nutrition, and related research, ranging from laboratory-based to public health nutrition research.

He is an extraordinary Professor in the Division of Human Nutrition and External Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Stellenbosch; President of the Nutrition Society of South Africa; Chairman of the National Science and Technology Forum and member of the IUNS/IUFoST National Committee in SA.  Ali was a member of the Bid Committee, Local Organising Committee, and Scientific Committee for IUNS-ICN 2005, the first to be held in Africa.  Founder member of the World Public Health Nutrition Association and a member of the Section on International Health of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Contributed to the first South African community nutrition textbook, served on two consensus panels on nutrition for the Academy of Science of South Africa, and was PI of the 2012 Egypt Nutrition Landscape Analysis. Currently involved in the SA Demographic and Health Survey 2016 as Co-PI and an IAEA-funded multi-country (African) project on stable isotope assessment of vitamin A status in children.

He has reviewed for various journals (e.g., Maternal and Child Nutrition; Public Health Nutrition; Nutrition; British Journal of Nutrition; The Lancet) and the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC).  On the editorial board of the South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition and has engaged with various regional and international bodies (e.g., NASAC; FANUS; WHO; WIPO; WFP; FAOUNICEF).