• Institute at White City will respond to emergencies and analyse health threats.

Imperial College London is to set up a research centre to respond to disease emergencies and analyse global health priorities, with funding from a Saudi foundation. The Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA) aims to tackle health crises, for example when epidemics of infectious disease such as Ebola and Zika break out, as well as carrying out longer term research into the factors behind them, such as climate change and population movements, that make health emergencies more likely.

A donation of about £25m from Community Jameel, will enable Imperial to build J-IDEA as part of its £100m campaign to establish a new School of Public Health at its White City campus in west London. Alice Gast, president of Imperial, got to know Mohammed Jameel, founder and chair of the foundation, when she was vice-president for research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 2000s.

Community Jameel has funded several institutes at MIT, including a clinic for machine learning in health (J-Clinic) and a water and food systems lab (J-WAFS). J-IDEA is its first project at a UK university, although it has funded the Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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