A new name for an historic Chair
Dr Yusuf Hamied (Christ’s 1954) has made a generous gift in support of a long-established Chair in Chemistry.
The 1702 Chair of Chemistry at Cambridge is one of the longest-established Chemistry Chairs in the UK. Thanks to a major gift from Chemistry alumnus Dr Yusuf Hamied, it will be renamed the Yusuf Hamied 1702 Chair of Chemistry in recognition of his support for the chair and its future.
As CEO and Chairman of the Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla, Dr Hamied worked to provide low-cost generic antiretroviral drugs to people with HIV and Aids in developing countries, reducing the cost of the drugs to under a dollar a day. His actions saved hundreds of thousands of lives and were celebrated in the acclaimed documentary Fire in the Blood. In recognition of his socially-conscious work, Dr Hamied was awarded the first Department of Chemistry Alumni Medal in 2016 'for services to the community that have brought honour to the Department of Chemistry'.
Dr Hamied has been a longtime supporter of both his department and Christ’s College. He came to Cambridge to study Natural Sciences in 1954, and stayed to complete his PhD with Nobel Laureate Lord Alexander Todd, who – he said – "transformed my experience of science". Lord Todd was himself a holder of the 1702 Chair of Chemistry for many years.
Head of Department Dr James Keeler says: "We are extremely thankful to Dr Hamied for his continuing support, and it is truly fitting that his name will henceforth be associated with our most prestigious Chair.”
My association with Chemistry at Cambridge dates back to 1954 and ever since there has been a close bonding, which I hope will last for years to come. I am delighted that I am leaving behind a legacy for the future in the creation of the Yusuf Hamied 1702 Chair for Chemistry. Cambridge has always been a leader in Chemistry and this Chair will contribute further to its leadership role.