The Pandemic Institute has welcomed a visit from Dr Charles Huang, whose company Innova Medical Group provided the initial £10m philanthropic donation that founded the Institute. Launched in 2021, The Pandemic Institute is a unique collaboration of academic, health and civic partners, whose mission is to tackle emerging infections and future pandemic threats.
Liverpool was chosen to be the home of The Pandemic Institute thanks to its unique ecosystem, hosting medical, veterinary, public health, tropical medicine and behavioural science schools and institutes. Liverpool has an unrivalled breadth of world-leading clinical and academic expertise in the areas required to deliver an end-to-end response to the challenge of emerging infections and future pandemics, all co-located in one city. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Liverpool pioneered innovative approaches including a whole city community testing pilot which cut transmission rates by a fifth, as well as hosting large-scale pilot events on behalf of the Government that provided evidence of how to safely reopen important sectors of the economy – developing Liverpool’s reputation as a leader in pandemic management and resilience.
The Pandemic Institute also builds on Liverpool’s work leading the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Health Protection Research Unit in Emerging and Zoonotic Infections (since 2014) which was at the forefront of the UK research response to Ebola, Zika and Covid-19. During the visit, the team at TPI were proud to showcase some of the things the institute has achieved since it’s formation, including identifying and funding high priority research during the MPox outbreak, establishing a £5M research partnership with Seqirus – a global leader in influenza, and more recently providing funding to employ key research or technical staff who will carry out a range of pandemic preparedness projects, and be ready to pivot to respond rapidly against any new threat that arises. The Pandemic Institute also manages the UK Pandemic Sciences Network, which brings together the UK’s leading pandemic science research teams to support the delivery of the G7’s 100 Days Mission.
As part of his visit, Dr Huang joined TPI director Professor Tom Solomon who was hosting a session on ‘preparing for future pandemics’ at The Royal Society Creating Connections event. He also joined members of the TPI team for a tour of some of the fantastic facilities Liverpool has to offer including the Digital Innovation Facility, the infectious diseases labs at University of Liverpool, the NIHR Clinical Research Facility at the Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and the Accelerator Research Clinic at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
“I’m delighted to visit my PhD mentor Professor Steven Young’s Alma mater – the University of Liverpool – and The Pandemic Institute, and hear about the Institute’s work and progress. Now with Innova Nanojet Technologies’ award winning and breakthrough product that can effectively and efficiently remove airborne viruses, pollens and pollutants, we are now in a position to continue to support the Institute, the University of Liverpool and the city of Liverpool to remain at the forefront of combatting pandemics”.
Dr. Huang is the founder and chairman of Pasaca Capital Inc., who own Innova Medical Group, he founded the Charles Huang Foundation in 2020, looking for meaningful ways to give back to society and help others.
Professor Tom Solomon CBE, from the University of Liverpool’s Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences Institute, and Director of The Pandemic Institute said:
“It’s been wonderful to host Charles in Liverpool, and show him just some of the work we have been doing supported by his initial investment.”
Learn more about the work of The Pandemic Institute and the founding partners here.