Following a generous benefaction from alumnus Dr Yusuf Hamied, the Department will be named the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry until 2050. His transformational gift ensures that chemistry at Cambridge will continue to be world-leading in both teaching and research.
Dr Hamied’s leadership gift endows both a fund to attract and support the world’s brightest academic talent in chemistry, including exceptional early career researchers in disciplines such as synthetic organic chemistry, and outstanding doctoral students from the UK and around the world through the new Hamied Scholars Programme.
For much of his life, Dr Hamied has been a leader in industry and philanthropy, focusing his attention on education and healthcare. He is currently the non-executive chairman of Cipla, a global pharmaceutical company started by his late father, Dr K A Hamied, in Mumbai. Yusuf Hamied’s major achievements 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 Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen J Toope said: “Yusuf Hamied has demonstrated an unequivocal commitment to changing and improving lives since his time at Cambridge. I am profoundly grateful for his remarkable gift to the Department of Chemistry, which will benefit generations of students and researchers.”
Among Dr Hamied’s many honours are 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. In 2019, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy.
Dr Hamied has retained close links with Cambridge over the past 66 years, as a supporter of his College — Christ’s — and the Department of Chemistry. 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 Dr Hamied’s time at Cambridge as an undergraduate and PhD student.
“Cambridge gave me the foundation of an education in chemistry, taught me how to live and showed me how to contribute to society,” said Dr Hamied. “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.”
Head of Department, Dr James Keeler, said: “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.”