Ajit is Chair of Infectious Diseases, Founding Director of the Tuberculosis Research Centre and Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in Respiratory Infections, Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant Physician at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. His research aims to protect the health of the population through tackling the world’s most serious respiratory infections: tuberculosis, pandemic influenza and COVID-19. The Respiratory Infections HPRU is a national-level interdisciplinary partnership between Imperial College London, Public Health England, the Royal College of General Practitioners Surveillance Centre, the University of Oxford and several NHS Hospitals.
Ajit has 25-yrs experience conducting patient-based research which has consistently been translated into innovative practical solutions resulting in paradigm-shifting advances. These include the first rapid blood test for TB (IGRA, T-SPOT.TB) (Lancet 2001, 2003; Ann Intern Med 2008; PNAS 2011, Lancet Infectious Diseases 2018, 2019); discovering the mechanism of action of BCG, the world’s most widely used vaccine (Lancet 2005, BMJ 2014); new national latent TB screening programmes (Lancet Infectious Diseases 20011, 2019) and the blueprint for a universal pandemic influenza vaccine (Nature Medicine 2013).
He has raised >£35 million research funding and published >160 research papers which have been cited >11,000 times (H-index: 54). His contributions 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 and the Royal College of Physicians’ Weber-Parkes Medal.
Ajit supports research training opportunities for NHS clinicians through his role as Vice-chair of the Royal College of Physicians’ Research and Academic Medicine Committee. As Chair of the Strategic Advisory Board of the India Alliance, India’s most esteemed medical research funding organization, he helps to develop the medical and public health research ecosystem in India providing unprecedented research support for India’s brightest biomedical scientists. As a Governor of The Science Museum Group he encourages the public’s engagement with science and the process of scientific discovery. He is committed to reversing ever-widening health inequalities by tackling the social determinants of health through innovative, community-based approaches, such as those pioneered by The Bromley by Bow Centre, Tower Hamlets, where he chairs the Board of Trustees.
et al., 2023, Risk factors and vectors for SARS-CoV-2 household transmission: a prospective, longitudinal cohort study., Lancet Microbe
et al., 2022, Onset and window of SARS-CoV-2 infectiousness and temporal correlation with symptom onset: a prospective, longitudinal, community cohort study, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol:10, ISSN:2213-2600, Pages:1061-1073
et al., 2022, Impact of an online breathing and wellbeing programme (ENO Breathe) in people with persistent symptoms following COVID-19: a randomised controlled trial, The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Vol:60, ISSN:2213-2600
et al., 2022, Patient outcomes following emergency admission to hospital for COVID-19 compared with influenza: retrospective cohort study, Thorax, ISSN:0040-6376
et al., 2022, Broadening symptom criteria improves early case identification in SARS-CoV-2 contacts, European Respiratory Journal, Vol:60, ISSN:0903-1936, Pages:1-13