LSTM alumnus Dr Waleed Alsalem one of the winners of the UK Alumni Awards 2019 in Saudi Arabia

News article 12 Mar 2019
Dr Waleed receiving the award from deputy ambassador Mr Richard Oppenheim

Dr Waleed Alsalem won the Professional Achievement Award at a ceremony hosted by the British Council and British ambassador at the British embassy to Saudi Arabia.

The annual awards celebrate outstanding individuals who received an education in the UK, paying tribute to the impact that they have had in their chosen fields, and how that was sparked and motivated by their studies in the UK.

The National Awards in Saudi Arabia were split into three categories: Professional Achievement, Entrepreneurial and Social Impact. Dr Waleed Alsalem’s Professional Achievement Award recognises alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership in their professional field.

His PhD supervisor was LSTM’s Dr Alvaro Acosta Serrano, who congratulated Dr Waleed via a prerecorded video message: “Huge congratulations to Dr Waleed on receiving this award from all of us at LSTM, I can’t tell you how proud I am of what he has achieved. Dr Waleed's work on cutaneous leishmaniasis has had a huge impact in the Eastern Mediterranean region as it has helped to raise awareness on the spread of this terrible disease. It was clear from the beginning that he had the ambition and vision to fight the problem of NTDs, not only in Saudi Arabia but in the whole region and it is clear that he is the kind of person who can make a difference to public health worldwide.”

Studying for 5 years at LSTM, after receiving his MSc in Vector Biology, Dr Waleed Alsalem was awarded his PhD in Tropical Medicine in 2015 under the supervision of Dr Alvaro Acosta-Serrano. In his PhD, he studied novel ways to prevent and control the transmission of cutaneous leishmaniasis in the Middle East. He was also the first to report the hyperendemicity of this disease as a result of the Syrian crisis.

Dr Waleed is currently the CEO of the National Health Laboratory in Saudi Arabia and deputy editor for the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.