BRC researcher awarded for work in tropical health

Professor Alimuddin Zumla has received an award from the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene for his outstanding work on infectious and tropical diseases.

Professor Zumla, Professor of Infectious Diseases and International Health at UCL and supported by the BRC, was awarded the Donald Mackay medal at an awards ceremony in Oxford.

The medal is awarded annually for outstanding work in tropical health, especially relating to improvements in the health of rural or urban workers in the tropics.

Professor Zumla leads several multi-country clinical trials and translational research on tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and respiratory illnesses. His team’s research has contributed to the development of the World Health Organization’s policy guidelines on aspects of respiratory tract infections, particularly tuberculosis, HIV/Mycobacterium tuberculosis co-infections.

Professor Zumla said: “Awards do not reflect individual efforts and I did not make this very successful journey alone. Thus I would like to dedicate this award to my family, all my teachers, research teams and collaborators, (past and present) and to friends and colleagues, many of whom are at UCLH and UCL.”

The late Dr Donald Mackay, in whose memory the medal is endowed, was deputy Director of the Ross Institute at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr Mackay died in 1981 after many years of work in tropical occupational health, especially on the tea plantations of South Asia.

Professor Zumla said: “I fondly recall his excellent, lively and riveting lectures on cholera, malaria and typhoid when I was doing my Masters degree in clinical tropical medicine in at the London School of Tropical Medicine.

“The personal interest he took in the welfare of overseas students was special and comforting. He was a man of the greatest integrity and commitment, an outstanding physician and tropical public health researcher and a brilliant teacher”.