$250m donated for global pandemic research centre in Melbourne

A centre dedicated to finding treatment for future pandemics has been launched in Melbourne with the largest philanthropic donation to Australian medical research in history.

Canadian philanthropists Geoff and Anna Cumming will donate $250 million to the University of Melbourne to establish the centre, to be known as The Cumming Global Centre for Pandemic Therapeutics.

Professor Duncan Maskell, the vice chancellor of the University of Melbourne, welcomed the announcement of the global pandemic research centre.Credit:Elke Meitzel

“There’s no doubt that this project is on a scale and ambition that would be simply unthinkable without support from people that – this is to be blunt – the most extraordinary act of generosity that I’ve ever known,” said vice-chancellor of the University of Melbourne Duncan Maskell.

The new centre is also being launched by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and is backed by state government funding of $75 million over 10 years.

Speaking at the announcement, Geoff Cumming said there were four reasons he chose Melbourne for the centre: the sustained investment in medical research in Victoria; the breadth of the city’s medical research “ecosystem”; the collegiality of researchers in the city; and, because he admired the way Australia had responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More to come.

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