By Sophie Vinter, on 27 April 2016
UCL Professor Alimuddin Zumla has been awarded the title of Honorary Doctor of Medicine (MDhc) by Sweden’s prestigious Karolinska Institutet (KI), in recognition of his partnership work and research into infectious disease.
The professor in Infectious Diseases and International Health at UCL’s Faculty of Medical Sciences has made seminal contributions to the understanding and advancement of knowledge of the epidemiology, transmission, pathogenesis, rapid diagnosis and treatment of respiratory tract infections, particularly tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
He was distinguished by the KI Board of Research for establishing equitable research partnerships between Europe, USA, Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as effectively aligning these to capacity development and training activities.
Tackling global emergencies
Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS were declared global emergencies by the World Health Organization in 1992 and Prof Zumla’s data have been used for developing new global diagnostic, prevention and treatment guidelines.
Working closely with KI researchers on numerous high impact publications, including Professor Markus Maeurer with whom he has collaborated over the past seven years, Professor Zumla co-established the Host-Directed Therapies network consortium of 64 international partners.
Its objectives include evaluating new clinical trials, developing high quality laboratory infrastructure at African partner sites and empowering a high calibre cadre of African researchers to lead future investigations.
Driving force for training
A statement on KI website reads: “Alimuddin Zumla has been awarded numerous honors, medals and prizes not only for his scientific excellence, but also for his contributions to international policy development and advancement of public health agenda on infectious diseases with epidemic potential.
“He has also been a major driving force for training of young developing country physicians, scientists and laboratory personnel.”
Each year KI confers honorary doctorates to individuals for their “vital scientific achievements or significant contributions to the university or humanity at large.”
Professor Zumla will have his doctorate formally conferred at a ceremony in the Stockholm City Hall on 13 May 2016.