Advancing vaccine technology for global impact
A new global health institute dedicated to advancing vaccine technology is to be established thanks to a new strategic partnership involving the University of Cambridge, along with the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), and the University of Hong Kong (HKU), and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI), thanks to philanthropic funding from the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC).
There is no better time to accelerate work on pandemic preparedness: the past few years have taught us a great deal — not least about sharing intelligence and strengthening communication.
Professor Patrick Maxwell, the University of Cambridge’s Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Global Health Institute (HKJCGHI), based in Hong Kong, will leverage the collective expertise and resources of the world's leading infectious diseases researchers to learn the crucial lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure the world is prepared for future outbreaks.
The Institute will bring the latest translational vaccine technology to Hong Kong, and bolster local and regional vaccine industry development through advanced research and public-private partnerships, as well as translation of research into practice. It will also provide training for the next generation of experts in the field of global health.
The Secretary for Health of the HKSAR Government Professor Lo Chung-mau said:
"I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to The Hong Kong Jockey Club for their exemplary philanthropy. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated graphically and comprehensively the critical importance of vaccine innovation and development, as well as global health cooperation. The establishment of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Global Health Institute marks an important milestone in this mission."
Speaking about their support for the new Institute, the Chairman of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Michael Lee, said:
“Hosted by the University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Global Health Institute will bring world-leading scientists and research teams from the International Vaccine Institute and the University of Cambridge to Hong Kong to work on translational vaccine research. With vaccines being the most powerful means of disease control, we want it to become a platform for fostering collaboration and cross-pollination of cutting-edge technologies.”
Professor Patrick Maxwell, the University of Cambridge’s Regius Professor of Physics and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine, said:
"There is no better time to accelerate work on pandemic preparedness: the past few years have taught us a great deal — not least about sharing intelligence and strengthening communication. At Cambridge, we are delighted that we will be working in partnership with the University of Hong Kong and the International Vaccine Institute. We continue to build our successes on great collaborations, which help us to act quicker, work smarter, and achieve more."
Professor Ken Smith, Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Cambridge, said:
“Effective and rapid vaccine development needs an integration of teams bringing a range of scientific skill sets. HKJCGHI achieves this by bringing together IVI’s demonstrated expertise in vaccine development and delivery, HKU’s world leadership in pandemic virology and epidemiology, and Cambridge’s skills in assessing and optimising human immune responses. It builds on long-standing Cambridge links with Hong Kong, and those between Cambridge and IVI which support vaccine and surveillance initiatives in seven African countries. The HKJCGHI will be placed to respond to infectious threats with rapid vaccine development and delivery, and medical and scientific capacity building in the countries that need them the most.”
In addition to the partnership, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charitable Trust is funding a new endowed Chair in Global Health to be based at the University of Cambridge. Recruitment for this role will start soon.
The University is very grateful for the support of the Friends of Cambridge University in Hong Kong, especially its founding chairman Dr Sir David Li, for its support in facilitating this important donation.