• Imperial facility to progress national and global health
    In conversation (L-R) Professors Sir Chris Whitty, Deborah Ashby and Neil Ferguson meet Dame Marit Mohn (Credit : Imperial)
  • Members of the Jameel Institute, led by Professor Neil Ferguson (Right), are among the first in the new building at Imperial's White City Campus (Credit: Imperial)

News & Views

Imperial facility to progress national and global health

Mar 19 2024

The new School of Public Health building at Imperial College London’s White City Campus, set to drive advances in health policy and prevention and treatment of disease, has been officially opened by Professor Sir Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England. Visiting guests celebrating the opening also included Dame Marit Mohn and George Richards, Director and representative of Community Jameel, both generous contributors towards design and build, as well as policymakers and local community leaders.

Speaking at the event, Professor Sir Chris Whitty said: “Preventing disease and shrinking the time that people spend with ill health is essential to them to having a good life, contributing to their families and society, as well as to the economy and reducing pressures on the NHS. Imperial’s strong foundation in science allows it to channel knowledge and understanding, making it one of the most effective centres for public health in the world. This puts Imperial in an incredibly strong position, so I’m very excited by what’s coming together here. It’s an amazing space and you’re very lucky to work here.”

Driving advances in Public Health at a local, national and global scale, Imperial’s experts have been at the forefront of the global fight against COVID-19, as well as improving child health and primary care. They have also established new centres in cancer epidemiology and climate change and disease.

A landmark donation from Dame Marit established the Mohn Centre for Childrens Health, where researchers are tackling the health threats affecting children in London, the UK and beyond.

In partnership with Community Jameel, Imperial established the Jameel Institute in 2019 which unites expertise in data analytics and epidemiology, to improve understanding of diseases and health emergencies – including the global COVID-19 pandemic and climate change and disease. 

A gift of £2.5 million from Humphrey Battcock has also 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.

Professor Deborah Ashby, Dean of Imperial’s Faculty of Medicine and former head of the School of Public Health, said: “Five years ago we launched the campaign for a dedicated centre for the School of Public Health that would bring our scientists, researchers and students together in one place for the first time. Today that vision has come to fruition, in no small part thanks to the generosity of our philanthropic donors and this is an exciting moment for all of us.”

Professor Neil Ferguson, Director of the School of Public Health and Director, Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics, 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.”

The new School of Public Health building was designed by Allies and Morrison with the nearly 5,400 metres of space fitted out by Graham Construction.

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