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Prof Ali Zumla
Second Floor Clinical Microbiology, Dividion of Infection and Immunity
University College London
Royal Free Hospital Campus,Rowland Hill Street
  • Professor of Infectious Diseases and International Health
  • Div of Infection & Immunity
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

Professor Alimuddin(Ali) Zumla is dually qualified in medicine(MBChB) and science(PhD). He is accredited in internal medicine and infectious diseases and is a Fellow of: 1.Royal Colleges of Physicians of London & Edinburgh; 2.Royal College of Pathologists; 3.Royal Society of Biology & 4.African Academy of Sciences. He was born in Fort Jameson, Zambia(British Northern Rhodesia). As a BEIT Scholar he completed an MSc in Clinical Tropical Medicine (Distinction & Mugratroyd prize) and PhD (Alan Woodruff Medal) from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He received international acclaim for rapidly identifying & notifying the 1988 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at Portland Place, London whilst working as an infectious diseases registrar at Rush Green Hospital. After 4 years as senior registrar at the Hammersmith Hospital, Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London, he spent 3 years as Associate Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Centre at Houston,USA, & Visiting Professor at UTH in Lusaka, Zambia, before joining UCL in 1994.

Since 1994, Professor Zumla has pioneered and championed the discipline of ‘Global Health’ at UCL. He has effectively networked numerous institutions across the world achieving significant ‘unity of purpose’ for poverty related diseases. He is a lead global advocate for developing fair and equitable North-South partnerships where close alignment of capacity development to research is central to his ethos. To take this forward he established the  UNZA-UCLMS R&D Program in 1994 (http://www.unza-uclms.org/)-a unique, novel model of 'equitable' academic partnership which has received several international awards including The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) ‘Most outstanding ‘Africa-Europe’ Team Award and Trophy' (2016).

RECENT ACCOLADES/AWARDS: Spinoza Award (Univ.Amsterdam-2011); Order of The Grand Commander of Distinguished Services from President of Zambia (2012). STOP-TB Partnership Kochon Prize&Medal(2012); Donald Mackay Medal from The Royal Soc Trop Med & Hygiene(2014), The Times Higher Education Award (2014), UCLHospitals-NHS-Fdn Trust Excellence Award for World Class Research (2015). In May,2016, the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, awarded their highest distinction '(Doctorate honoris causa)' to Professor Zumla for "exceptional contributions to science, healthcare and humanity at large". In March 2017 he received the UK-National Institute for Health Research Senior Investigator Award. NIHR SI’s are ‘among the most prominent and prestigious researchers and the most outstanding leaders of patient and people-based research within the NIHR Faculty’.

PUBLICATIONS: 500 peer-reviewed PUBMED articles (ResearchGate score=51.7; GoogleScholar  H-index=77; i10index=321;and 26,660 citations). He has edited 19 medical textbooks, including the classics:Manson’s Tropical Diseases (co-ed.GC Cook),Tuberculosis:A Comprehensive Clinical Reference(co-ed.S.Schaaf), Granulomatous Disorders(co-ed.D.G.James) and Perspectives in Medicine-TB(Co-eds: S.Kaufmann & E.Rubin). Prof Zumla has initiated & led numerous journal themes series (http://www.unza-uclms.org/tb-theme-series).

Research Summary

GLOBAL/INTERNATIONAL R&D: http://www.unza-uclms.org/

Professor Zumla’s research has focussed on killer infectious diseases affecting adults and children:

a). RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS particularly, Tuberculosis (TB), TB-HIV/AIDS co-infections., Community and Hospital acquired pneumonia.

b). INFECTIOUS DISEASES with epidemic potential and threaten global health security:  i).  Multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis.  ii). Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Ebola. iii). Antibiotic resistant infections. (See website: http://www.unza-uclms.org/pandora-id-net )

1.CLINICAL TRIALS FOR EVALUATION NEW DIAGNOSTICS, DRUGS, TREATMENT AND PROPHYLACTICS FOR RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS: Professor Zumla has created and leads significant international, multi-country collaborative networks between academics, health care workers, healthcare providers, and policy makers for the conduct of multi-centre GLP/GCP clinical trials, the results of which have changed global clinical practice. Current networks span 67 partners in 34 countries across 4 continents.

2. PATHOGENESIS AND EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES: Several large autopsy study of African children and adults undertaken by Prof.Zumla and teams yeilded high impact data on pathogenesis of killer respiratory tract infections. Sentinel epidemiological and clinical studies showed the emergence of extensively drug resistant TB in Eastern Europe and Southern Africa. A Host-Directed Therapies network has been established to improve treatment outcomes of MDR-TB (See website: http://www.unza-uclms.org/hdt-net). Several  basic science, translational clinical and operational studies are ongoing. 

3. RESEARCH INTO THE EPIDEMIOLOGY, DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF KILLER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS ESP TB, TB/HIV, CAP AND MERS-COV: Laboratory and translational clinical research on longitudinal cohorts of patients is leading to development and evaluation of rapid diagnostics (urine, sputum and blood based) and biomarkers for diagnosis, response to treatment, cure and relapse. Novel biomarkers of cytokine ratios, urine and filter paper based TB diagnostics tests have been developed and current work focusses on development of new and novel rapid TB diagnostic technology, in inpatient settings in paediatric and adult wards. These data are novel show a huge clinical load of undiagnosed sub-clinical TB leading to new screening diagnostic algorithms and now call for more pro-active screening for TB at all points of care. 

Teaching Summary

1. Undergraduate Medical students: Infectious diseases/microbiology/tropical Medicine/Clinical bedside 2. Supervision of PhD students 3. Supervision of postdoctoral scientists 

2. Visitng Professor to the several Institutions eg: Institute of Child Health, London; University of Zambia School of Medicine;Lusaka, Zambia; University of Cape Town, South Africa; Liverpool School of Medicine; University of Amsterdam; Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), University of Tor Vergata (Rome), King AbdulAziz Univ., Jeddah.

3. External examiner for MSc, MMed, MD and PhDs at several national and international universities.     

4. BOOKS: Editor of 19 textbooks including Granulomatous Disorders; Return of the White Plague; Clinics in Chest Medicine -Tuberculosis; Infectious Diseases Clinics of North America vols x 3; the global 'classics: a) Manson's Tropical Diseases,21st and 22nd editions. b) Tuberculosis- a comprehensive Clinical Reference. c) Perspectives in Medicine-TUBERCULOSIS -edited with S.Kaffmann (Max Planck) and Eric Rubin (Harvard)         

5. GLOBAL HEALTH CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: Founder member and pioneer of Global Health at UCL in 1998 with Prof J.Yudkin -starting with forming IHMEC-Intl Health Medical Education Centre at UCL leading SSMs in international health, and introducing the intercalated BSC in International health. IHMEC merged with  Institute of Child Health maternal health and became the UCL Institute of Global Health. This was led by Prof A.Costello and as of 2016 the director is Prof I.Abubakar.  

6. TEACHING THROUGH HIGH PROFILE JOURNAL THEME SERIES: 1. Lead 'guru' Lancet TB Theme series (2010), 2. Chief Guest Editor Journal of Infectious diseases volume on TB, TB/HIV/AIDS-unanswered questions and controversies 2012, 3. Guest editor, Lancet Infectious Diseases series on Tuberculosis (2013, 2016), 4. Guest Editor Lancet Resp Med Series (2014), 5. Lancet Mass Gatherings Medicine Series (2014), 6. Lancet ID Series on Emerging RTIs (2014, 2016), 7) IJID TB series (2015 & 2017), 8) Editor,Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine Infection Series (2000-2016).9) Editor, ID Clinics of North America (2008,2012). B) JOURNAL THEME SERIES: Several TB SERIES: eg: a. Lancet 2006 and 2010 series; b). Lancet Infectious Diseases Series 2012, c. Lancet Mass Gatherings Medicine series 2014; d. Lancet ID Series on Emerging RTIs;  e. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine series 1999-2014, f. ID Clinics North America, g. International Journal of Infectious Diseases TB series 2015 & 2017. Full list on website:    (http://www.unza-uclms.org/tb-theme-series).

Academic Background
1987 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Medicine London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
1984 MRCP Member of the Royal College of Physicians – Clinical Medicine Royal College of Physicians
1981 MSc Master of Science University of London
1979 MB.ChB Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery – Clinical Medicine To be updated
1976 BSc Bachelor of Science To be updated
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