“Ukatamanga weka utamangisa, tikatamanga awili, tifikapatali" - When you run alone, you run fast. When you run together, you run further - Zambian Proverb

Research and Training Programme

Professor Alimuddin Zumla  - Profile

Professor Zumla was born in Chipata, Zambia, in 1955.  He qualified with honors in medicine in 1979 from the University of Zambia, School of Medicine. He subsequently completed specialty training in infectious diseases, tropical medicine and clinical immunology in the United Kingdom and United States.


Professor Zumla is globally renowned for his leadership of health policy relevant research and for his outstanding and extensive outputs in infectious diseases, tropical medicine, with a focus on TB, HIV and respiratory diseases. Professor Zumla is driven by his own personal near-death experiences due to contracting crippling meningitis as a junior doctor, and by his fervor and commitment to rid the world of poverty related infectious diseases and to improve the health and lives of disadvantaged and poor peoples of the world.  


His work has contributed significantly to development of World Health Organization policy guidelines and recommendations, and being apolitical, non-denominational, and totally committed to improving human health, he has been able to bring together politicians, donors, academics, scientists and clinicians to focus attention on diseases of poverty.


For the past 29 years, Sir Alimuddin Zumla has been Professor of Infectious Diseases and International Health, at one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious Universities, University College London, and is Consultant Infectious Diseases Physician at University College London Hospitals NHS Trust: one of the largest tertiary referral center in the United Kingdom. Professor Zumla serves as Honorary Professor at several institutions: University of Zambia; University of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK; University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; University of Cape Town, South Africa; and the Institute of Child Health, London, UK


He has shared his knowledge and an enormous amount of time, to look after the needs of, and empower numerous scientists, doctors and other health personnel globally, particularly Africans, over the past two decades. He has succeeded in getting them to work together in various networks and has assisted in obtaining funding for them to unite in the fight against killer infectious diseases.


The output of Professor Sir Zumla’s research has led to improvements in the care of patients worldwide. He has been awarded over 25 prestigious awards for his work output. Click here to view full list of prizes, medals and awards.

These prizes and awards recognize Professor Zumla’s outstanding achievements and significant contribution to combating killer infectious/tropical diseases, and excellence in research and capacity development activities. In addition he is founder member and Trustee of the World’s largest TB charity, TB ALERT. He is also Member of BOOKPOWER, a charity that provides educational textbooks to resource poor developing countries.

Professor Sir Zumla has authored an excellent range of textbooks on Tuberculosis and Infectious Diseases. Selected examples below.


Profile Pieces

Read Richard Lane's profile on Sir Zumla published in Lancet 2022. Click here to read.

Read Tony Kirby's summary of Prof Zumla's career published in Lancet Infectious Disease March 2013.