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Biocon founders donate £6 million to Glasgow University for new research hub

Published on 10/07/19 at 04:23pm
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The founders of Biocon India have donated £6 million ($7.5 million) to Glasgow University.

John Shaw and his wife Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw – the founders of Biocon, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in India – have given the University of Glasgow £4 million to set up a research hub on the site of an old hospital and an additional £2 million to create a new professorial chair in oncology.

 John Shaw commented: “As a proud alumnus of the University of Glasgow, I have the good fortune of making a gift at a time when the university is embarking on a major expansion. Both Kiran and I have the proud privilege of being awarded honorary doctorates.

“The success of our company, Biocon, has allowed us to be philanthropic. Research at Glasgow resonates very closely with Biocon’s principal interests in diabetes and cancer. Our gift, therefore, seeks to support research and precision oncology.

“The University of Glasgow has the potential to advance science to new levels and become a globally-recognised research hub.”

John Shaw, having graduated with an MA in history/modern history from Glasgow University in 1970, helped to finance and develop Biocon after he met his wife, Kiran, while working for Paisley-based textile firm Coats in Bangalore.

Biotech billionaire Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw founded Biocon India from her garage in Bengaluru.  

University principal and vice-chancellor Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli said: “We are deeply grateful to John and Kiran for this act of extraordinary generosity.

“The research hub, currently under construction, will create a unique environment which will break down organisational silos to allow the collaboration across disciplines on which world-changing research breakthroughs now depend.

“It will allow us to impact on many of the most pressing issues of our time, including new treatments for chronic and infectious diseases and reducing poverty in the global south.”

Louis Goss

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