A triple triumph for TB expert 

18/11/2011 00:00 

UCLH consultant Professor Alimuddin Zumla has recently received three international prizes for his work combating tuberculosis (TB), a disease that still causes three deaths every minute.  

Professor Zumla presenting at a conference in France

Professor Zumla presenting at a conference in France


The recent spate of awards includes the India International Foundation Science Award, the University of Amsterdam Spinoza Leerstoel award, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) STOP TB Kochon Prize. They recognise Professor Zumla’s outstanding achievements in tuberculosis research, significant contribution to combating TB and excellence in infectious diseases research.
 
Professor Zumla, who is a consultant physician for infectious diseases working in the microbiology department at UCLH, said: “I am very honoured and humbled by these awards. It is really heart-warming to be recognised in this way.”
 
Professor Zumla is internationally renowned for his leadership in TB and TB/HIV research and for establishing north-south partnerships for TB research. His collaborations now span five countries in Europe and 10 in sub-Saharan Africa, where he leads several multi-country research projects. His team's research findings have contributed to the development of WHO's management guidelines on treatment and prevention of TB and TB/HIV – and to improvements in the care of patients worldwide.
 
The UK is the only country in Western Europe with rising rates of tuberculosis and cases in London have increased more than 50% since 1999. Nationwide, there are now more than 9,000 cases diagnosed per year. The problem is becoming particularly acute in London, where 40% of all UK TB cases are diagnosed.
 
Professor Zumla was himself seriously ill with TB when working as a junior doctor at the Hammersmith Hospital in London in 1982. Despite nearly losing his life to TB meningitis, he is now a global leader in the field of infectious and tropical diseases. His work outputs on tuberculosis have been extensive and have led to improvements in the care of patients worldwide, particularly in countries where AIDS, tuberculosis, and other respiratory infections are endemic.
 
As well as holding a research position at UCL, Professor Zumla also serves as visiting professor at several European and African universities and is Chairman of the International Scientific Advisory Committee to the United Kingdom All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis.

Professor Zumla added: “I will be re-investing my prize monies into incentives and awards for those committed people working at grassroots level in poor developing countries whose work often goes unrecognised. It will also help fund awards to MSc and PhD students working on TB and TB/HIV issues.”

 

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