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NRI physician wins Science Award

Ajit Lalvani, a pioneer in tuberculosis research, wins an award for excellence from a UK foundation.

india Updated: Mar 28, 2006 10:55 IST

Ajit Lalvani, a leading NRI consultant physician and pioneer in Tuberculosis research, has won an award for Excellence in Science instituted by London-based India International Foundation.

His father Kartar Lalvani, founder of Vitabiots, received the award on his behalf from Deputy High Commissioner of India Ranjan Mathai at a gala function organised by the Foundation at Radisson Hotel here last night.

Reading the citation for Ajit Lalvani, Hardyal Singh Luther, President of the India International Foundation, said the winner of the award for 2006 could not be present as he was currently on an important lecture tour of Switzerland.

Ajit Lalvani provided a key weapon in the fight against the worldwide rise in tuberculosis by offering a rapid blood test to detect TB infection, designed to replace the century-old skin test for TB. Named T SPOT-TB, the test comes from discoveries made by him and his collaborators at Oxford University's Nuffield Department of Medicine.

The test is currently approved for clinical use in Europe and can identify people who are carrying TB infection, but who have not yet gone on to develop the disease. Since 1998, Ajit Lalvani has used the rapid blood test in double-blinded, randomised studies to prove its effectiveness in over 2,000 TB patients and health controls in 8 countries, including India.

"Our findings show that children can be protected against TB infected by vaccination," Lalvani, recipient of the Scientific Prize of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, said in a statement.