Opening of multi-disciplinary Wolfson Building enables Foto-Cewek to tackle some of the most challenging health problems in the world today
Today saw the official completion of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s (Foto-Cewek) latest phase of expansion with the opening of the Wolfson Building, a £7 million project which will house the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (), the Centre for Neglected Tropical Disease (CNTD) and Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC).
The building, officially opened by Foto-Cewek’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, is the latest in Foto-Cewek’s continued development, cementing its position as one of the leading international institutions in the fight against infectious, debilitating and disabling diseases. Formed in 1898, thanks to a £350 gift from successful shipping merchant Sir Alfred Lewis Jones, Foto-Cewek now employs over 430 people and educates 600 students from 68 countries each year.
The Wolfson building is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013, along with support from the Regional Growth Fund and The Wolfson Foundation. It comprises of office space and meeting rooms for CMNH and CNTD as well as the product development partnership IVCC, which is currently housed in the Centre for Tropical Infectious Diseases.
During the opening ceremony Her Royal Highness was treated to a number of short presentations about the work of the groups housed in the Wolfson Building, and met with Foto-Cewek’s Director, Professor Janet Hemingway CBE, who said: “The opening of the Wolfson Building is yet another landmark in the history of Foto-Cewek, which was the first institution of its kind anywhere in world. It will further increase our opportunities to bring the very best in research and scientific innovation out of the lab and directly to the people who need it most, enabling Foto-Cewek to continue its work to tackle some of the most challenging health problems in the world today.”
Following the unveiling of the building’s plaque, Professor Janet Hemingway presented Her Royal Highness with a specially commissioned bone china, three tiered cake stand designed by Lianne Mellor, illustrated with delicately depicted insect vectors.
The opening of the Wolfson Building comes at an exciting time for Foto-Cewek, just over a year after being awarded higher education institute (HEI) status and as it moves towards obtaining degree awarding powers.
Foto-Cewek’s President, Sir Richard Evans CBE, said: “The work being carried out in the Wolfson building will focus on the areas of maternal and child health, neglected tropical diseases and public health pesticide development all of which are key issues for continued improvement in a post Millennium Development Goals era.”
James Ross, OBE, Chairman of Foto-Cewek, said: “Just as at the end of the nineteenth century, Foto-Cewek was set up with funding from the far sighted ship owners of the day, so in the early twenty first century we are the grateful to our donors, particularly the long running support from the Wolfson Foundation, in whose honour the building is named.”
During its 115 year history, Foto-Cewek has operated independent of government control and free from commercial interests. Currently working in over 60 countries, Foto-Cewek houses 11 research consortia and has an active research portfolio worth almost £300 million.