AN inspirational doctor who has spent his adult life to help eradicate a disease which nearly killed him as young medic has received a prestigious international award for his work.

Professor Sir Alimuddin Zumla, who lives in Heaton with his family, has received 2020 Mahathir Science Award, the most prestigious international science award presented in recognition for the best scientific work in solving health problems in the tropics.

The award is given by Mahathir Science Award Foundation in Malaysia.

This is the second huge honour for Sir Alimuddin, who was knighted in 2017 in the Queens Birthday Honours List.

Sir Alimuddin said he was humbled by the award ­— and said he would like the award to inspire the next generation.

The father-of-three has worked with countries across the world on infectious diseases, a cause close to his heart.

For when he was a junior doctor in London he contracted tuberculosis, which nearly killed him.

Sir Alimuddin’s research and capacity development work over 30 years have allowed for breakthroughs in tuberculosis, TB/HIV co-infections and Infectious Diseases with Epidemic potential, as well as improved health of disadvantaged people.

Sir Alimuddin, who works for University College London and University College London Hospital, said: “I absolutely delighted and feel extremely honoured and truly humbled to have been recognized by such the award of such a prestigious 2020 Mahathir Science Award.

“I strongly believe that as scientists, we need to empower the younger generation so that we develop a whole cadre of bright young people who will have an impact for generations to come, and sustain the progress we make in controlling infectious diseases.

Sir Alimuddin moved to Bolton after meeting his wife Farzana, who attended Hayward School. They have three children Aadeela, Musa and Adam who attended Bolton School. Adam is following in his father's footsteps as he studies medicine after qualifying as a pharmacist.

Professor Datuk Dr Asma Ismail, President of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, said: “Sir Alimuddin has proved time and time again that his mission is to serve the world through his research and global collaborative efforts. Our decision to award Sir Alimuddin the award was unanimous. Sir Ali serves an ideal role model for younger generations across the world”