Hampstead nets £1million for medical research
PUBLISHED: 14:55 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:14 07 September 2010
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Tan Parsons A HEALTH research director from Hampstead is today picking up $1million in funding. Professor Sir Andrew Haines, of Mackeson Road, has flown across the pond to Washington DC to collect the money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Sir
A HEALTH research director from Hampstead is today picking up $1million in funding.
Professor Sir Andrew Haines, of Mackeson Road, has flown across the pond to Washington DC to collect the money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Sir Andrew, pictured below, is director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which has won the 2009 annual Gates Award for Global Health.
The award is unique, the only one made on the recommendation of an independent committee of international experts.
Before stepping onto his transatlantic flight to claim the cash, he told the Ham&High: "We are very proud - it's a very prestigious award. There were 106 organisations nominated, including some major players. This is a fantastic accolade - it's really the only award there is for global health."
Since its inception in 2001, the award has been given to major NGOs and health centres but this is the first time it has been bestowed on a university and is also a first for a UK organisation.
In a statement, Dr Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's global health programme, said: "For more than a century, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has trained some of the world's most outstanding public health leaders.
"The school's commitment to leadership and cutting-edge research has made an immeasurable contribution to health in developing countries."
Sir Andrew, a former professor of public health at the Royal Free Hospital, said the award was given for the impact the school had had on poor, disadvantaged populations around the world - on health problems such as TB, malaria and HIV, but also increasingly on cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental disorders.
"Equally important is our work to build health systems and train health personnel in low income and post-conflict countries," Sir Andrew said.
Despite the size of the cash prize, Sir Andrew will not be tempted to blow any of the winnings on frivolous celebrations - instead it will be ploughed into the school's popular distance-learning programme.
He added: "This award could not have come at a better time for us. The distance-learning programme has helped many talented people around the world acquire the skills and expertise they need to improve public health.
"The prize money will enable us to extend that opportunity to many more through development of new courses and the provision of scholarships."
The school, based in Gower Street, is a world-leading institution for its research and postgraduate education in global health. It currently has 3,500 postgraduate students from 120 countries, and boasts an alumni list of more than 70,000 people.
The school has a strong commitment to supporting the development of teaching and research capacity in low-income countries, with staff currently based at sites in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Sir Andrew is due to receive the award today on behalf of the school at a special ceremony during the Global Health Council's Annual International Conference.
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