£50m funding for new vaccine research building at Oxford University 

Oxford University has announced a £50 million funding commitment from Serum Life Sciences to establish The Poonawalla Vaccines Research Building at the University of Oxford. 

What will it do? 

The Poonawalla Vaccines Research Building will share infrastructure and support facilities with Oxford University Pandemic Sciences Centre for scientific research and academic teaching. Together, they will form a hub that will contribute to global pandemic preparedness and responsiveness. 

The main focus of the research taking place in the Poonawalla Building will be vaccinology. This new facility will house over 300 research scientists and itself will provide the focus and scale for the university’s major vaccine development programmes allowing a rapid, productive and timely expansion of this fast-growing translational area. 

Official comments 

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, said: “The University has longstanding ties with the Poonawalla family and we were delighted to confer an honorary degree on Cyrus Poonawalla in Summer 2019 in recognition of his extraordinary work manufacturing inexpensive vaccines for the developing world. I am delighted that through this generous gift we will be able to further our work on vaccines which have proven so critical to global health. We will also ensure that we are never again caught unprepared for a global pandemic.” 

Natasha Poonawalla, Chair, Serum Life Sciences, said: “We are delighted to make this £50m commitment to the University of Oxford, for the building of The Poonawalla Vaccines Research Building. Vaccines save lives, and the development of vaccines has been the lifelong focus of the Poonawalla family. We are committed to developing and supplying vaccines to people who need them most. To make this happen, we build many scientific collaborations with the world’s leading research institutes but today, we are making this keystone donation to give the world-class team at Oxford a brand-new facility from which to take their research to the next level.”  

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