Leading pandemic therapeutics centre in Melbourne

Published: 31 August 2022

A new centre will be established in Melbourne’s biomedical precinct to advance Victoria’s pandemic preparedness and fast-track the design and development of life-saving treatments.

Canadian philanthropist and businessman Geoffrey Cumming will donate $250 million to the University of Melbourne to establish the centre – the largest ever philanthropic donation to Australian medical research.

Mr Cumming is a Canadian-born businessman who is chairman of Karori Capital Ltd, a private investment firm based in New Zealand. He has been a notable philanthropist, making significant donations to Canadian and New Zealand medical research causes throughout his career.

Backed by a $75 million Victorian Government investment over 10 years, the Cumming Global Centre for Pandemic Therapeutics will initially be based within the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity before being located at the new Australian Institute for Infectious Diseases (AIID) set to open in 2027.

The world-leading research centre will focus on rapidly developing, testing and commercialising new treatments to tackle infectious diseases, and will attract international research experts to Victoria.

In July, the Victorian Government launched its Health and Medical Research Strategy: 2022-2032, outlining a vision for Victoria to continue its status as a global leader in medical research by supporting more breakthroughs, driving economic growth, creating jobs and saving lives.