Our Team

Pedro Luis Alonso

Pedro Luis Alonso

Director of WHO's Global Malaria Programme Malaria, HIV / AIDS, Viral and Bacterial Infections

Prof. Pedro Luis Alonso has been Director of ISGlobal, Director of the  Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB), Head of the International Health and Tropical Medicine Unit of the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona, Professor of the University of Barcelona and President of the Governing Board of the Manhiça Foundation / Manhiça Health Research Centre, CISM (Mozambique).

Pedro Alonso started his career in international health 25 years ago as a young physician working in West Africa. Since then his work has focused on the key determinants of morbidity and mortality in the two most vulnerable population groups in Africa: young children and pregnant women. He is increasingly active in building and strengthening human and institutional capacity in developing countries and Europe and in campaigning for support for other global health initiatives.

Some of Dr Alonso’s most relevant work has been carried out in the field of malaria and has led to the development and testing of new tools for the prevention and treatment of Plasmodium falciparum. He conducted the first trials to show the impact of insecticide-treated nets in the reduction of all-cause mortality (Lancet 1991) as well as phase 2b trials of the first malaria vaccine candidate (RTS,S) in Africa (Lancet 1994) and the first proof-of-concept trials of RTS,S in African children and infants (Lancet 2004 and 2007). He is also lead author on papers showing the safety and efficacy of iron supplementation in young infants in malaria-endemic areas (Lancet 1997) and presenting the first proof of concept of intermittent preventive treatment in infants as a potential malaria control tool (Lancet 2001). He has published more than 300 papers in international peer-reviewed journals.

Between 2005 and 2007, together with Professor Fred Binka, he led the steering committee that designed and implemented the European Union EDCTP (European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership) initiative. He has served on several national and international committees. Currently, he is Director of WHO's Global Malaria Programme.

Lines of Research

  • Description of the main health problems of vulnerable populations in rural Africa.
  • Epidemiology of infectious diseases, including acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, TB and HIV.
  • The main focus has been the clinical development of new tools for the prevention or treatment of malaria, including vector control, drugs and vaccines. Currently interested also in the science of malaria elimination.

Main Publications

  • Alonso PL, Lindsay SW, Armstrong JR, Conteh M, Hill AG, David PH, Fegan G, de Francisco A, Hall AJ, Shenton FC. The effect of insecticide-treated bed nets on mortality of Gambian children. Lancet 1991;337(8756):1499-502
  • Alonso PL, Sacarlal J, Aponte JJ, Leach A, Macete E, Milman J, Mandomando I, Spiessens B, Guinovart C, Espasa M, Bassat Q, Aide P, Ofori-Anyinam O, Navia MM, Corachan S, Ceuppens M, Dubois MC, Demoitie MA, Dubovsky F, Menendez C, Tornieporth N, Ballou WR, Thompson R, & Cohen J. Efficacy of the RTS,S/AS02A vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum infection and disease in young African children: randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2004;364:1411-20
  • Aponte JJ, Aide P, Renom M, Mandomando I, Bassat Q, Sacarlal J, Manaca MN, Lafuente S, Barbosa A, Leach A, Lievens M, Vekemans J, Sigauque B, Dubois MC, Demoitie MA, Sillman M, Savarese B, McNeil JG, Macete E, Ballou WR, Cohen J, Alonso PL. Safety of the RTS,S/AS02D candidate malaria vaccine in infants living in a highly endemic area of Mozambique: a double blind randomised controlled phase I/IIb trial. Lancet 2007; 370: 1543–1551.
  • Sacarlal J, Aide P, Aponte JJ, Renom M, Leach A, Mandomando I, Lievens M, Bassat Q, Lafuente S, Macete E, Vekemans J, Guinovart C, Sigauque B, Sillman M, Milman J, Dubois MC, Demoitie MA, Thonnard J, Menendez C, Ballou WR, Cohen J, Alonso PL. Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of the RTS,S/AS02A Malaria Vaccine in Mozambican Children. The Journal of Infectious Diseases 2009; 200 (3): 329–336.
  • Alonso PL, Brown G, Arevalo-Herrera M, Binka F, Chitnis C, Collins F, Doumbo OK, Greenwood B, Hall BF, Levine MM, Mendis K, Newman RD, Plowe CV, Rodriguez MH, Sinden R, Slutsker L, Tanner M. A research agenda to underpin malaria eradication. PLoS Med 2011; 8(1):e1000406