Chemistry dept at Cambridge University named after Indian scientist Yusuf Hamied

The University of Cambridge in the UK has decided to name its chemistry demanrtment after Indian scientist Yusuf Hamied, chairman of pharma major Cipla until 2050.

Dr Hamied is a former alumnus of the world-renowned university and made a transformational gift to his alma mater to ensure that chemistry at Cambridge University will continue to be “world-leading in both teaching and research”.

The naming of the department follows a “generous benefaction” from Hamied, whose father, K A Hamied, started Cipla in Mumbai. He has pioneered the supply of HIV/AIDS medicines to developing countries at lost cost.

He said, “Cambridge gave me the foundation of an education in chemistry, taught me how to live and showed me how to contribute to society. As a scholarship student myself, I am delighted to be able to support future generations of students. I will always be indebted to this great institution and everything it stands for.”

In 2018, he endowed one of the world’s oldest academic Chairs in Chemistry, now known as the Yusuf Hamied 1702 Chair. His academic mentor and supervisor, Nobel Laureate Lord Alexander Todd, held the Chair during Hamied’s time at Cambridge as an undergraduate and PhD student.

We are extremely thankful to Dr Hamied for his visionary support for Chemistry at Cambridge which will allow us to respond flexibly to future opportunities. His gift will ensure we continue to attract outstanding scientists who will make the discoveries that help tackle some of the most pressing challenges in global society, said Dr James Keeler, the Head of the Chemistry Department.

Hamied’s achievements listed by the university include the pioneering supply of HIV/AIDS medicines to developing countries at a low cost, saving countless lives. To help patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cipla is again providing medicines to healthcare organisations at affordable prices, making treatment more accessible, the university notes.

Among Hamied’s many honours include an honorary fellowship of Christ’s College in 2004; the Padma Bhushan, one of the highest Indian civilian awards in 2005; an honorary fellowship of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2012; and an honorary Doctorate of Science from the University of Cambridge in 2014.

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