Imperial opens new School of Public Health building, home to the Jameel Institute

London, United Kingdom

Imperial College London's new School of Public Health building – home to the Jameel Institute, the Imperial centre using data analytics to help combat disease threats worldwide – was officially opened today at Imperial’s White City campus by the chief medical officer for England, Professor Sir Chris Whitty.

The celebration saw distinguished guests rubbing shoulders with Imperial’s senior leadership, staff and students. Community Jameel and Dame Marit Mohn gave generous contributions towards the building’s design and construction, and the event was attended by George Richards, director of Community Jameel, and Dame Marit, as well as policymakers and local community leaders.

The new building is a hive of flexible spaces where academics, collaborators, students and the local community can create ambitious ideas together. Set in Imperial’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem at the rapidly expanding White City Innovation District, the School will support modern advances in genomics, data sciences, community engagement and educational facilities. Imperial is one of the world’s leading institutions for public health research, driving advances at a local, national and global scale.

The Jameel Institute, which is relocating to the new School of Public Health building, was established by Imperial and Community Jameel in 2019 and unites expertise in data analytics and epidemiology, to improve understanding of diseases and health emergencies – including the global COVID-19 pandemic and at the intersection of climate change and disease. 

Professor Neil Ferguson, director of the School of Public Health and director of the Jameel Institute, said: “Imperial’s strong position in public health science was demonstrated by our world-leading response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the work we do here will ensure our scientists are in the very best position to devise the pandemic preparedness strategies of the future. We want the School of Public Health to be in the strongest possible position to address the most pressing public health challenges in the decades to come.”

Speaking at the event, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, said: “Scientists at the School of Public Health were among the first to recognise and quantify the risk that COVID-19 posed to the world. Thanks to centres of excellence like these, the UK’s science sector is well-placed to tackle the public health challenges of the future."

Commenting on the opening, Professor Hugh Brady, president of Imperial, said: “Our School of Public Health is already home to globally important research, navigating humanity’s toughest health challenges. The exciting development of the new building is that it is a crucible for the vital ingredients – our staff, students, industry and partners– to mix and experiment; to use the agility it was designed for in becoming a beacon for Imperial’s ambition to change global health. As we launch our new strategy this year, the work in this building and at our campuses across London will ensure our world-leading research continues to have a global impact, as well as training the health leaders of tomorrow.”

Alongside the Jameel Institute, the School of Public Health is also home to the Mohn Centre for Children's Health and Wellbeing, where researchers are tackling the health threats affecting children in London, the UK and beyond, established by a landmark donation of £25 million from Dame Marit Mohn. A gift of £2.5 million from Humphrey Battcock enabled Imperial to appoint Professor Frank Kelly as the inaugural Battcock Chair in Community Health and Policy and to form Europe’s largest cluster for research into air pollution and health.

The School of Public Health sits in the Imperial WestTech Corridor including South Kensington, Paddington Life Sciences, White City Innovation District and the Old Oak Park Royal development area. It is close to the Invention Rooms, where Imperial engages with local communities and brings global expertise to bear on London health challenges; clinical research settings at Imperial College Healthcare National Health Service Trust; and Imperial’s Hammersmith Campus, where The Princess Royal recently opened the £120 million state-of-the-art Medical Research Council Laboratory of Medical Science.

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