In recognition of his “generous benefaction”, the University of Cambridge
announced on Tuesday that its chemistry department will be named after Indian
pharmaceutical major Cipla’s non-executive chairman Yusuf Hamied 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
His 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.
The department would be known as Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry.
“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,” he said.
Hamied has retained close links with the UK university over the past 66 years,
as a supporter of his own 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 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.
Professor Stephen J. Toope, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, 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 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.
In 2019, he was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of
the Indian National Science Academy.