Ajit Lalvani is Chair of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Health Research Senior Investigator and Wellcome Senior Clinical Research Fellow at Imperial College London and Founding Director of the Tuberculosis Research Centre. He is Co-Chair of Respiratory Infections at the National Heart and Lung Institute and Honorary Consultant Physician at Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. His research programme addresses the world’s most serious respiratory infections: tuberculosis and pandemic influenza.
Ajit qualified in medicine from the Universities of Oxford and London followed by specialty medical training in London, Cambridge, Basel and Oxford. Following his doctoral thesis on Immunity to Intracellular Pathogens as MRC Clinical Research Fellow at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, he developed his research programme in the Nuffield Department of Medicine as Clinical Lecturer and has been a Wellcome Senior Clinical Research Fellow since 2001. In 2007 he was recruited to Imperial College London to formulate new scientific and public health strategies to tackle tuberculosis globally. At Imperial, he founded the multidisciplinary Tuberculosis Research Centre, one of Europe’s leading tuberculosis research groups. The Centre is an intellectually stimulating environment comprising a thriving community of post-doctoral scientists, clinical training fellows, research nurses, graduate students, technicians and undergraduates, located within the Respiratory Infection Section of the National Heart and Lung Institute.
His research has transformed our understanding of the natural history of TB infection and the mechanism of action of BCG vaccine, as well as providing fundamental new insights into protective immunity to TB, pandemic influenza and malaria. He has consistently translated his immunological discoveries into practical solutions for tackling infectious diseases through paradigm-shifting innovations that have revolutionised diagnosis of TB, including the FDA-approved, NICE-endorsed ELISpot IGRA (interferon-gamma release-assay). His research outputs have shaped clinical practice and global public health policy, forming the basis of many national TB control guidelines (eg NICE, CDC, ECDC). His ongoing research program probes the immunologic and genetic factors that shape the natural history and clinical outcomes of TB and influenza infection, whilst maintaining a strong translational theme by developing and validating novel biomarkers of infection, disease and treatment response.
Professor Lalvani has published >120 peer-reviewed papers with >8,000 citations and raised >£15 million research funding from the Wellcome Trust, MRC, NIHR, British Lung Foundation and other funders. He has received several awards in recognition of his contribution to global tuberculosis control, including the Scientific Prize of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) and the Royal College of Physicians Weber-Parkes Medal and his research has frequently featured in international newsprint and broadcast media.
He facilitates research and postgraduate education nationally and internationally by lecturing widely and through his roles on the Academic Medicine and Research Committee of the Royal College of Physicians, as organiser of scientific conferences for the IUATLD, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society of Medicine and through research funding and interview committees (Wellcome Trust, Health Research Board Ireland, European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Programme and Wellcome Trust/Government of India Dept of Biotechnology India Alliance).
Professor Ajit Lalvani of Imperial College London explains why a new TB screening test is necessary, on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9464000/9464264.stm
"TB screening misses 70% of latent cases" - The Guardian, 21/04/2011: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/21/tb-screening-misses-most-uk-cases
et al., 2017, Novel interferon-gamma assays for diagnosing tuberculosis in young children in India., Int J Tuberc Lung Dis, Vol:21, Pages:412-419
et al., 2018, Urgent challenges in implementing live attenuated influenza vaccine, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol:18, ISSN:1473-3099, Pages:E25-E32
et al., 2017, Innate activation of human primary epithelial cells broadens the host response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the airways, Plos Pathogens, Vol:13, ISSN:1553-7366
et al., 2017, Stratification of Latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis Infection by Cellular Immune Profiling, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol:215, ISSN:0022-1899, Pages:1480-1487
et al., 2017, Can defective interfering RNAs affect the live attenuated influenza vaccine? Reply, Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol:17, ISSN:1473-3099, Pages:1235-1236