Elmi Muller

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Elmi Muller
Residence Cape Town, South Africa
Nationality South African
Alma mater
Occupation Medical Specialist and Transplant Surgeon

Elmi Muller is a South African medical specialist and past President of the Southern African Transplantation Society who pioneered an organ transplant programme at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town for HIV positive patients using HIV positive donors. She also serves on the Executive committee of the Transplantation Society.


Elmi Muller has been a full-time medical specialist within the Department of Surgery at the University of Cape Town, Groote Schuur Hospital since 2007. She is currently the chair of the Division of General Surgery as well as the head of the Transplant unit. She does her clinical work at Groote Schuur Hospital as well as UCT Private Academic Hospital. Since 2007 she has been involved in many organ transplant-related outreach and education programmes for the public and the medical profession. She is also an active participant in the International Society of Nephrology's Educational Ambassador program and has provided training and teaching in the field of Transplantation and Surgery in several African countries.

She pioneered an HIV positive-to-positive organ transplantation at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. This was the first program in the world to use HIV positive donors for HIV positive recipients. The outcomes of these transplants had been published in the New England Journal of MedicineHIV-Positive–to–HIV-Positive Kidney Transplantation — Results at 3 to 5 Years. Her work had been featured in many journals:A Source of Treatment for Those Who Were (Almost) Lost: Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Positive to Human Immunodeficiency Virus–Positive Kidney Transplantation—Results at 3 to 5 Years, Transplantation: Promising outcomes of HIV-positive-to-HIV-positive kidney transplantation, Hopeful act: A rebel transplants organs from HIV-positive donors, People in Transplantation The Lancet also published a profile on her in 2012 called Elmi Muller: bending rules, changing guidelines, making history.


After graduating with a M.B. Ch.B. from the University of Pretoria in 1995, Muller was awarded a M.Med. (Surgery) degree from the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Professional memberships[edit]

A member of the UK's Royal College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the College of Surgeons in South Africa, Muller was awarded Fellowship of the American College of Surgeons in 2013.

Awards and accolades[edit]

Elmi received the Transplantation Society's Women in Transplant Hero Award in 2016 and became an honorary member of the European Surgical Association in the same year. In 2014 she was the recipient of CEO Magazine’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government: Africa award, and was the winner of the health care category of the Most Influential Women in Africa in 2013. She and was the winner of the Checkers Shoprite Woman of the Year award in the health care section for 2011. (Interview

Other Projects[edit]

Elmi is currently one of the co-chairs of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian group, working to combat organ trafficking and provide ethical transplantation to people across the globe. (Declaration of Istanbul.


[1] [2]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "HIV-Positive–to–HIV-Positive Kidney Transplantation — Results at 3 to 5 Years". Nejm.org. Retrieved 2016-08-18.