Alumni Spotlight

Cambridge names Chemistry Department after Dr Yusuf Hamied

Dr. Yusuf Khwaja Hamied

St. Xavier’s glows with pride in having found a golden spot at the University of Cambridge in the persona of our alumnus, Dr Yusuf Khwaja Hamied – Batch of 1953-54. We are proud to learn that the department where he studied at the University of Cambridge has been named the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry until 2050. In 2018, he had graciously endowed one of the world’s oldest academic chairs in chemistry which is now called Yusuf Hamied 1702 Chair. He has been a generous benefactor to Cambridge. In 2009, the Yusuf Hamied Centre was opened at Christ’s College, Cambridge. 

St. Xavier’s is proud to have been the alma mater of Dr Hamied, the son of the illustrious Dr Khwaja Abdul Hamied referred to as the father of indigenous modern pharmaceutical industry for having started CIPLA (Chemical, Industrial and Pharmaceutical Laboratory) in 1935. (Metaphorically, CIPLA was Dr Khwaja’s Abdul Hamied’s first child and along came Dr Yusuf Hamied in 1936). It is the oldest pharmaceutical company in India which is chaired currently by Dr Yusuf Hamied. 

It is important to note that Dr Khwaja Abdul Hamied, Dr Yusuf’s father was one of the former founder Professors of Jamia Millia Islamia along with Dr Zakir Hussain, the third President of India. Despite the ability to study at any given destination for his Bachelors, Dr Yusuf Hamied chose to study at St. Xavier’s. In a newly independent India, St. Xavier’s College, associated with quality-education attracted some of the noteworthy scions of India’s leading families because education was still the prerogative of the most elite. Hailing from a family which was involved intensely with the freedom movement and the development of an institution such as Jamia Millia Islamia, he could have chosen any place abroad or in India for Higher Education, however, he chose to stop-by at St. Xavier’s. We are immensely proud of Dr Yusuf Hamied’s achievements. Dr Hamied following the legacy of his father has contributed to providing affordable medicines for deadly diseases. His supply of HIV/AIDS medicines to developing countries at low cost has characterised him as a Robin Hood figure. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honour by the Government of India in 2005. St. Xavier’s wishes Dr Yusuf Hamied the very best!

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