UCL Antimicrobial Resistance

Prof Sir Ali Zumla

Prof Sir Ali Zumla

Professor of Infectious Diseases and International Health

Div of Infection & Immunity

Faculty of Medical Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 1994

Research summary

Professor Sir Alimuddin Zumla’s research has focused on killer infectious diseases affecting adults and children:(http://www.unza-uclms.org/)

a).RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS particularly, Tuberculosis (TB), TB-HIV/AIDS co-infections, Community and Hospital acquired pneumonia, Transmission of RTIs at mass gathering events.

b).EMERGING AND RE-EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES with epidemic potential which threaten global health security: i).Multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis. ii). Zoonotic infections eg MERS-CoV, EBOLA, Chikungunya. 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 developed and leads several 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: Pioneering autopsy studies of African children and adults undertaken by Sir Zumla and teams yielded 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 novel 'Mass Gatherings Medicine' initiative has several basic science, translational clinical and operational studies are ongoing. 

3.RESEARCH INTO THE EPIDEMIOLOGY, DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT AND PREVENTION OF KILLER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS: 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. Evaluation of new and novel rapid TB diagnostic technologies in inpatient settings in paediatric and adult wards. Autopsy studies show a huge clinical load of undiagnosed sub-clinical TB now call for more pro-active screening for TB at all points of care.

Teaching summary

1. CHAMPIONING GLOBAL HEALTH TEACHING AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT: Pioneered and championed 'Global Health' at UCL since 1994 as Director of the UCL Centre for Infectious Diseases and International Health. In 1998 teamed up with Prof John Yudkin (Whittington UCL campus) to form the UCL International Health and Medical Education Centre (IHMEC) which introduced Special Study modules (SSMs) and the intercalated BSC in Global Health, and the popular Annual UCL ‘Lancet’ Global Health Lectures. In 2006, when the Institute of Child Health was incorporated by UCL, it merged with IHMEC to form UCL Institute of Global Health (subsequent Directors of UCL-IGH were Prof A.Costello,2006-2014; Prof I.Abubakar 2014-date).    

2. UNDERGRADUATE, DOCTORAL AND POSTDOCTORAL SUPERVISION AT UCL AND AS VISITING PROFESSOR TO THE SEVERAL INSTITUTIONS eg: Institute of Child Health, London; University of Zambia School of Medicine;Lusaka, Zambia; University of Amsterdam; Karolinska Institutet (Sweden), University of Tor Vergata (Rome), King AbdulAziz Univ (Jeddah). Committee Member and Secretary of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine (2000-2007). Co-PI on three Europe-Africa capacity development, training and research consortia: 1. CANTAM network, 2. EACCR, 3. TESA.

3. EXTERNAL EXAMINER for MSc, MMed, MD and PhDs at several national & international universities.     

4. BOOKS: Editor of 19 textbooks including the global classics: a) Granulomatous Disorders; b) Return of the White Plague; c) Manson's Tropical Diseases, 21st and 22nd editions. d) Tuberculosis- a comprehensive Clinical Reference; e) Perspectives in Medicine-TUBERCULOSIS. Several editions of MRCP Part 1 and part 2 exam revision books. 

5. TEACHING THROUGH HIGH PROFILE JOURNAL THEME SERIES: 1). Lead 'guru' Lancet journals TB Theme series (2006,2010, 2012), 2). Chief Guest Editor Journal of Infectious diseases volume on TB, TB/HIV/AIDS-unanswered questions(2013), 3). Guest editor, Lancet Infectious Diseases series on Tuberculosis (2014, 2016, 2018, 2019), 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;2019), 8) Editor, annual Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine Infection Series (2000-2018), 9) Editor, ID Clinics of North America (2008,2012,2013,2019). (Other listed on website: (http://www.unza-uclms.org/tb-theme-series).


Karolinska Institute
MD, Medicine | 2016
Royal College of Pathologists, UK
FRCPath, Pathology | 2009
Royal College of Physicians
FRCP, Medicine | 1994
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
PhD, Tropical Medicine | 1987
Royal College of Physicians
MRCP, Clinical Medicine | 1984
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
MSc, Tropical Medicine | 1981
University of Zambia
MB BChir, Medicine | 1979
University of Zambia
BSc, Human Biology | 1976


 Professor Sir Alimuddin Zumla is dually qualified in medicine(MBChB) and science(PhD). He is accredited in internal medicine and infectious diseases and is a Fellow of The: 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 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 which he traced back to Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London whilst working as an infectious diseases registrar at Rush Green Hospital in Romford. After 4 years as senior registrar at the Hammersmith Hospital, Royal Postgrad Medical School, London, he spent 3 years as Associate Professor at the University of Texas Health Science Centre, Houston,USA, & Visiting Professor at UTH in Lusaka,Zambia, before joining UCL in 1994. 
  Since 1994, Professor Sir Alimuddin Zumla has pioneered and championed the discipline of ‘Global Health’ at UCL with significant effect, effectively networking 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 with 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' mutually beneficial partnerships which has received several international awards, including The European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) ‘Most outstanding ‘Africa-Europe’ Team Award and Trophy'(Nov.2016).
RECENT AWARDS/ACCOLADES: Spinoza Award(Univ.Amsterdam-2011); Order of The Grand Commander of Distinguished Services (GCDS)-First Division from President of Zambia(2012); STOP-TB Partnership-WHO Kochon Prize & Medal(2012); Donald Mackay Medal-The Royal.Soc.Trop.Med&Hyg(2014); The Times Higher Education Award (2014); UCLHospitals-NHS-Fdn Trust Excellence Award for World Class Research (2015); UK-NIHR Senior Investigator Award(2017);Karolinska Institutet,Sweden:'Doctorate honoris causa' for "exceptional contributions to science, healthcare & humanity at large"(2016); Knighthood-Knight Bachelor from Her Majesty the Queen (Birthday Honours List June,2017) for services to public health&infectious diseases. The Union Medal (2018)- highest honour accorded by the IUTB and Lung Disease.
PUBLICATIONS:a).562 peer-reviewed PUBMED articles (Google Scholar,H-index=110; i10index=840;60,981 citations:2018 Clarivate list of the world's most highly cited authors), b).19 medical textbooks, including the classics: Manson’s Tropical Diseases (co-ed.G.C.Cook); Tuberculosis;A Comprehensive Clinical Reference(co-ed.S.Schaaf); Granulomatous Disorders(co-ed.D.James); Perspectives in Medicine-TB (co-eds:S.Kaufmann&E.Rubin), c).Numerous expert reports and journal themes series (http://www.unza-uclms.org/tb-theme-series).