Glenda Gray, FCPaeds, MBBCh, DSc (honoris causa) is the President/CEO of the South Africa Medical Research Council, Research Professor in Paediatrics and co-founder of the internationally-recognised Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Soweto, South Africa. She is also the Co-PI of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network and Chairperson of the Board of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases. Her research has been instrumental in the global reduction of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and the ongoing development of an HIV vaccine. Prof Gray is a global leader in the field; she has received numerous accolades for her research, including the Nelson Mandela Health and Human Rights Award, the Order of Mapungubwe (one of South Africa’s highest orders) and the IAPAC Hero in Medicine Award for her contribution to perinatal HIV research. Prof Gray’s research and leadership will be vital in developing an HIV vaccine to stem the tide of the HIV /AIDS epidemic.