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UCL collaboration scoops Outstanding Research Team award in Zambia

By Sophie Vinter, on 14 November 2016

The University of Zambia-UCL Medical School research and training project team scooped the Outstanding Research Team award at the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership Forum A UCL Medical School collaboration with the University of Zambia has scooped a prestigious award in recognition of its equitable partnership model for conducting research into poverty-related diseases.

The UNZA-UCLMS partnership, established by Professor Alimuddin Zumla (UCL Division of Infection and Immunity), won the Outstanding Research Team Award during the eighth European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials (EDCTP) Partnership Forum.

The President of the Republic of Zambia, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, presented the award and €50,000 prize money to members of the team.

The award was collected by Dr Peter Mwaba (former UCL PhD student of Professor Zumla), Dr Nathan Kapata (National Tuberculosis Programme Manager), Dr Aaron Shibemba, (Head of Pathology) and UCL Postdoctoral Scientists Dr Matthew Bates and Dr Jim Huggett.

Crossing disciplines and borders

Professor Zumla established the programme in 1994 with the Dean of the University of Zambia Medical School, Professor Chifumbe Chintu, as a novel model of academic partnership.

It would take forward African science away from domination by the North, instead championing the cause for fair and equitable North-South and South-South research, training and capacity development initiatives.

Since then the collaboration has linked 34 institutions from across West, Central, South and East Africa with 28 European institutions.

The partnership has led to training for numerous medical, scientific, nursing and laboratory personnel, capacity building for conducting clinical trials, and the development of valuable research infrastructure.

Prof Zumla said: “We are extremely proud, honoured and humbled to receive this prestigious award from the EDCTP. Success of complex multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional and multi-country educational, capacity development and research programmes is critically dependent on selfless, committed, and dedicated staff. This award acknowledges the exceptional contributions made over 23 years by my teams here at UCL and in Zambia in collaboration with all our partner institutions in Africa and Europe.”

UNZA-UCLMS Project team (Centre Professor Zumla with Dr Peter Maaba and Dr Nathan Kapata)

Mutually beneficial

The collaboration was based on the principal that partnerships must engage all parties in a way that is mutually beneficial, and that all research must be twinned and aligned to local capacity development and training.

The team has made great headway in tackling poverty-related diseases over the years, achieving more than 500 publications, 20 textbooks and over 100 articles in The Lancet journals.

Its clinical trials, autopsy and translational research data have been used by the World Health Organization (WHO) and African governments for improving management and prevention of poverty-related diseases.

It brings together scientists, funders, politicians, and advocates to unite together in the fight against infectious diseases, particularly tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, diseases declared global emergencies by the WHO in 1993.

5 Responses to “UCL collaboration scoops Outstanding Research Team award in Zambia”

  • 1
    Mohamed Bobat wrote on 30 November 2016:

    I have known Professor Zumla from the age of six when we started at Lotus Primary school in Lusaka then went onto Kamwala secondary school. He was always first in class!
    Despite all he has achieved in life Ali Zumla hasn’t lost his humility and caring nature. He is approachable and friendly and helps wherever he can. Allah’s blessings on him.

  • 2
    ZamBates wrote on 1 December 2016:

    UCL collaboration scoops Outstanding Research Team award in Zambia – https://t.co/q5FkaA34Kl

  • 3
    Dr. Sayoki Mfinanga wrote on 3 December 2016:

    Congratulations to the group and Prof. Ali Zumla for you committed to your group philosophy and you have made it happen no matter what, you found something to commit yourselves and kept your commitment to something that finally you have you have rewardingly contributed to the world science. If you had waited for ideal situation to act, the ideal situation would have never happened. Bravo!!!!

  • 4
    Prof Shabbar Jaffar wrote on 5 December 2016:

    Amasing achievement. Well done Prof Zumla, Dr Mwaba and others. You are an inspiration

  • 5
    Prof Moses Bockarie wrote on 12 December 2016:

    Congratulations to Dr Peter Mwaba and Prof. Ali Zumla and their team for winning the EDCTP Outstanding Research Team Award for the University of Zambia/UCL collaboration. This is the first of this award for EDCTP and it went to a very deserving team. Fostering partnerships between the North and the South remains at the centre of EDCTP activities. The University of Zambia – University College London Medical School (UNZA-UCLMS) Research & Training Program which was founded in 1994 has developed considerably over the years achieving numerous deliverables related to the fight against poverty related diseases, and can now be an example to other African countries. Congratulations again!

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