Professor Alimuddin ZumlaBMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b5574 (Published 30 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5574
Developing life threatening, crippling tuberculous meningitis while a junior doctor working in London did not stop Alimuddin Zumla from going on to make what colleagues judge to be a “unique, remarkable, and substantial” contribution to improving health care globally.
Trained in Zambia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, Professor Zumla is one of a new emerging breed of “clinician scientists,” dually qualified in medicine (he is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians) and science (PhD). The output of his research, as professor of infectious diseases and international health at University College London Medical School, has led to improvements in the care of patients worldwide, particularly in countries where AIDS, tuberculosis, and other respiratory infections are endemic.
Professor Zumla’s work has driven improvements in clinical practice in the prevention and management of infectious diseases throughout the world. He has had a major role in global research collaborations and in networking, capacity development, and training in several African countries.
His research findings and expertise have contributed to the development of the World Health Organization’s and the European Union’s policy guidelines on tuberculosis and on HIV and tuberculosis coinfection.
He has a personal interest in the training of medical and scientific personnel in the UK and Africa. Professor Zumla has more than 300 publications to his name, including 15 medical textbooks, two of which are globally acknowledged classics: Manson’s Tropical Diseases and Tuberculosis: A Comprehensive Clinical Reference.
Professor Zumla has raised more than £49m (€55m; $79m) of grant funding, and his collaborations now span five countries in Europe and 10 in central and southern Africa. He leads several multi-country clinical trials on interventions and newer diagnostics that will improve outcomes for patients with HIV and tuberculosis. His work has also contributed to raising the profile of the English NHS’s work in improving global health.
Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5574
Readers can vote for their choice on bmj.com from 4 January until 12 February.