Honorary Research Associate
Burden of Disease Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council
Muhammad Ali Dhansay (Ali), MMed (Paed), FCPaed, is affiliated with the Burden of Disease Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) as Honorary Research Associate; with Stellenbosch University (Cape Town, South Africa) as Extraordinary Professor in the Division of Human Nutrition and External Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Ali is a Council Member of the IUNS (International Union of Nutritional Sciences) since 2017 and one of three IUNS council representatives for Africa - the others are Prof. Andrew Prentice (The Gambia) and Prof. Francis Zotor (Ghana). He retired after 34 years’ service with the SAMRC, during which time he engaged in nutrition intervention research, providing clinical input, and expertise as a paediatrician. He has held various positions at the SAMRC, among which are Director of the Nutrition Intervention Research Unit, Vice-President: Research, and Acting President. Ali is a council member and past president of the Nutrition Society of South Africa, chair of the National Science and Technology Forum, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Global Health. He serves as reviewer for the section’s International Community Access to Child Health (ICATCH) program.
His research areas include maternal and child nutrition with an emphasis on micronutrients, public health, and public health nutrition. Research ethics, human rights and social inequality issues are of special interest, with the accent on women and children. Ali has been PI and Co-PI for various national health and nutrition surveys in South Africa, e.g. the SA Demographic and Health Survey 2016, the 2012 SA Nutrition and Health Examination Survey, among others, as well as PI for the Egypt Nutrition Landscape Analysis 2012.
He subscribes to the mantra of ‘context and perspective’ both in his personal and work life; he is passionate about health and science communication.