Ajit Lalvani is Chair of Infectious Diseases, Founding Director of the Tuberculosis Research Centre and Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Respiratory Infections, Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant Physician at 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 >150 peer-reviewed papers with >10,000 citations and raised >£25 million research funding from the Wellcome Trust, MRC, NIHR, British Lung Foundation and US NIH. His contributions to science and public health have been recognised by Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences (FMedSci), Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Public Health (FFPH), Visiting Professorship at the University of Oxford and numerous awards including the Scientific Prize of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) and the Royal College of Physicians’ Weber-Parkes Medal. His research frequently features in international newsprint and broadcast media.
He facilitates postgraduate education nationally and internationally by lecturing widely and as Chair of the Royal Society of Medicine Annual World TB Day Conference. He facilitates research as Vice-chair of the Research and Academic Medicine Committee of the Royal College of Physicians, Chair of Government of India/Wellcome Trust India Alliance Clinical and Public Health Interview Committee and Board Member of the NIHR/MRC Efficacy, Mechanisms and Evaluation Funding Committee.
He is committed to improving public health by tackling the social determinants of health and health inequalities in underprivileged communities through his role as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Bromley-by-Bow Centre, Tower Hamlets. He is interested in enhancing the public’s engagement with and understanding of science through his role as a Governor of the Science Museum Group.
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., 2020, Effectiveness of BCG vaccination against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in adults: a cross-sectional analysis of a UK-based cohort, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol:221, ISSN:0022-1899, Pages:146-155
et al., 2019, Effectiveness of pre-entry active tuberculosis and post-entry latent tuberculosis screening in new entrants to the UK: a retrospective, population-based cohort study., Lancet Infectious Diseases, Vol:19, ISSN:1473-3099, Pages:1191-1201
Lalvani A, Seshadri C, 2019, Understanding how BCG vaccine protects against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection: Lessons from household contact studies, Journal of Infectious Diseases, ISSN:0022-1899
Lalvani A, Whitworth HS, 2019, Progress in interferon-gamma release assay development and applications: an unfolding story of translational research, Annals of Translational Medicine, Vol:7, ISSN:2305-5839
et al., 2019, Immunodiagnosis of active tuberculosis, Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine, Vol:13, ISSN:1747-6348, Pages:521-532