And finally… University of Glasgow campus development boosted by ‘largest ever donation’
A former student has donated more than £6 million to the University of Glasgow to help progress its development plans.
Graduate John Shaw and his wife Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who have turned her biotech firm Biocon into one of the largest pharmaceutical firms in India, have made donations worth $7.5m.
John Shaw’s donation of $5m to the Research Hub, currently under construction on the Western Infirmary site as part of the University’s £1 billion campus development, will see space in Level 2 – the floor dedicated to public engagement – named Shaw Plaza.
A further donation of $2.5m will create a new Professorial Chair to be named the Mazumdar-Shaw Chair of Precision Oncology.
Mr Shaw’s career with the Paisley-based textile firm Coats included management and financial positions across the world and led to him meeting his future wife Kiran in Bangalore. When they married in 1998, her firm Biocon was a pioneering biotech venture, but Mr Shaw took early retirement from Coats and helped his wife transform the company from a small company into a biotech giant.
Mr Shaw said: “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.”
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, John and Kiran have long been supporters of the University, also helping develop the University’s strong scientific relationship with Biocon which includes joint PhDs at the University. I am delighted that we are able to do such important work together.”