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12 September 2022

Jameel Fund for Infectious Disease Research and Innovation provides new funding to several critical research projects in Saudi Arabia

  • Community Wellbeing
Community Jameel and Community Jameel Saudi Arabia have announced the second wave of funding from the Jameel Fund for Infectious Disease Research and Innovation for projects tackling the threat of respiratory diseases.
Jameel Fund for Infectious Disease Research and Innovation provides new funding to several critical research projects in Saudi Arabia - 1

Pioneering research projects at Imperial College London and King Abdulaziz University (KAU) will receive new support to help tackle the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses.

Following on from the success of the first round, which supported 12 projects focused on coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19), SARS and MERS, the second round of funding will additionally focus on other respiratory viruses, investigating their pathogenesis (how the disease develops) and transmission.

A total of 11 projects at Imperial College London and KAU have received funding in the second round, including two joint projects between the two institutions. The selected projects will launch on October 1 at their respective institutions and will spend one-year conducting research supported by the Jameel Fund.

The scope of research for projects under the second round of the Jameel Fund spans a diverse array of topics in the field of respiratory diseases, including: long COVID; pregnancy-related immunity post-COVID; immunopathology post-COVID infection; early warning and surveillance systems for human coronaviruses; and tetravalent vaccines against MERS and COVID-19, among others.

Professor Abdulrahman bin Obaid Al-Youbi, President of King Abdulaziz University, said: “King Abdulaziz University is appreciative of the continuous support it has received from the Jameel Fund through Jameel Fund for Infectious Diseases Research and Innovation, which confirms the joint commitment of both sides to find solutions to existing problems such as infectious diseases by supporting research and innovations that are capable of reducing the burden posed by such diseases locally and globally. The university thanks Community Jameel and looks forward to strengthening this collaboration with other partnerships to serve the community.”

Hassan Jameel, Vice Chairman of Community Jameel, said: “Community Jameel’s primary aim is to empower communities to thrive by advancing science. A core pillar of this is promoting partnerships across the Global South to drive scientific breakthroughs.

The Jameel Fund is an embodiment of this mission and we hope, through promoting cross-institutional collaboration, to support research and innovations able to curtail the risks posed by infectious diseases globally.”

Professor Ian Walmsley, Provost of Imperial College London, said: “The Jameel Fund will provide the vital support needed for research scientists to help protect the world from respiratory viruses and the ongoing threat of Covid-19. The grants will rapidly accelerate our understanding of infectious diseases and how to prevent, diagnose and treat them. We are grateful to Community Jameel for their continued support towards our work in global health.”

Established in 2021 by Community Jameel and Community Jameel Saudi Arabia, the Jameel Fund provides funding for short-term, high-impact projects at Imperial College London and KAU that advance our ability to understand, prevent, diagnose, and treat coronaviruses and other infectious diseases, and to strengthen research collaborations between Imperial and Saudi universities in this field.

Previous projects selected under the first round of the Jameel Fund included:

l  Creating a 3D facial scanning mobile app for mass customisation of respiratory protective equipment (e.g. masks and face shields)

l  Developing rapid diagnostic screening

l  Understanding severe illness in children linked to COVID-19

l  Exploring if DNA sequencing technology can be engineered to detect new variants.

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