Cambridge’s chemistry department named after Indian scientist Yusuf Hamied
The department at the University of Cambridge where Indian scientist Yusuf Hamied, chairman of pharma major Cipla, studied has been named the Yusuf Hamied department of chemistry until 2050, the university announced on Tuesday.
Hamied, 84, who was a student at Christ’s College, has retained close links with Cambridge over the past 66 years, the university said, adding that in 2018, he endowed one of the world’s oldest academic chairs in chemistry, now known as the Yusuf Hamied 1702 chair.
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.”
The university said that Hamied’s 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.
Vice-chancellor 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.”
Hamied’s honours include an honorary fellowship of Christ’s College in 2004; the Padma Bhushan 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.
Head of the chemistry department 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.”
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