Alex Kumar

Global Perspectives Guest Speaker

Alexander Kumar is a British global health physician, travel photographer, and writer. He is one of the U.K.’s most traveled doctors, having lived, worked, and traveled through over 90 countries. Realizing a sense of humor weighs nothing, Alex travels light armed only with a stethoscope and his curiosity for life. 

Having trained in medicine at Guy’s, King’s & St. Thomas’ in London, and anaesthetics and intensive care in Oxford, he became an Academic Clinical Fellow in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Infections in Leicester. Fascinated by life in the polar regions, Alex lived in the Canadian Arctic, where he completed the first piece of research on HIV among Inuit. One hundred years on from Scott and Shackleton, Alex traveled to Antarctica and spent around one year living at the Concordia Research Station as the European Space Agency Human Spaceflight Research M.D. where he conducted research in the most extreme and remote environment on the planet to understand how far human physiology and psychology can be pushed towards a future manned mission to Mars. Later  Alex designed the ‘White Mars’ human science space analogue study for explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ Coldest Journey, which attempted the first land crossing of Antarctica during winter. He has been the expedition doctor for many expeditions abroad including replicating Sir Ernest Shackleton’s famous escape from Antarctica filmed for the Discovery Channel. This year he featured in his second series for Discovery Channel highlighting health challenges on and around Mount Everest one year after the Nepal earthquake. 

Working in scientific research across the globe, he has volunteered in Sierra Leone in an Ebola treatment center during the West Africa outbreak, researched Zika virus in South America, snake envenomation in the Amazon, and malaria in India. With his inspiring enthusiasm and passion for global health and the natural world, he enjoys sharing his wealth of unique experiences in writing, photography, and television. He has both featured in and extensively published scientific and travel-related articles alongside his photographs for BBC News, the New York Times, the Guardian, and National Geographic Traveler among other international media outlets. More information can be found on

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