Postgraduate students working at the Jenner Institute in profile wearing lab coats and blue gloves

Philanthropy Report 2021/22

Harnessing global collaborations to advance pandemic sciences research


Researchers at the Pandemic Sciences Institute are exploring collaborative solutions to counter the threat of pandemics.

Oxford’s contribution to tackling COVID-19 has been immense. From the successful development of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine to trialling life-saving drugs, the University has brought its expertise to bear on this devastating global emergency. Donor generosity made a significant impact on Oxford’s ability to respond quickly to the virus and, thanks to the ongoing support of visionary benefactors, the University is now working to confront future pandemics.

The Pandemic Sciences Institute, led by Professor Sir Peter Horby, was officially launched on 5 July 2022. Based at Oxford’s Old Road Campus, researchers at the institute are exploring collaborative solutions to counter the threat of pandemics. In the past year the University has received vital support for this work through two substantial donations.

A gift of £50 million from the Natasha Poonawalla Foundation, Serum Life Sciences and Cyrus Poonawalla is supporting both an endowed professorship and the Poonawalla Vaccines Research Building, which forms a key part of the institute’s infrastructure. The Poonawalla family, owners of the Serum Institute of India, are committed to the development, manufacture and supply of affordable vaccines to low- and middle-income countries. This new facility will focus on vaccinology and enable a rapid expansion of this translational area of research.

The Moh Family Foundation has also made a generous donation to the Pandemic Sciences Institute. Their gift will drive forward several core research strands, provide support for doctoral students and secure the future of a number of academic leadership posts. These include the Professorship of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health, currently held by Professor Horby, and the Professorship of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, currently held by Professor Christophe Fraser.

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