Takeda and LSHTM establish "Takeda Chair in Global Child Health"

Gift will boost LSHTM’s innovative research into child health and survival that helps policymakers to make evidence-based decisions.
Caption: Professor Peter Piot, Director of LSHTM; Professor Joy Lawn, Director of the Centre for Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive, & Child Health at LSHTM; His Excellency Mr Koji Tsuruoka, Japanese Ambassador; Christophe Weber, President and CEO of Takeda. Credit: Takeda

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is delighted to announce the establishment of the Takeda Chair in Global Child Health, endowed by a £3 million donation by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited. It is LSHTM’s first fully endowed corporate chair and will support vital research to help reduce child deaths in low and middle-income countries.

Takeda’s donation will enable LSHTM to recruit a world-class researcher and educator to join its innovative academic team as the first holder of the Takeda Chair in Global Child Health. This post will play a critical role in consolidating LSHTM’s child health research across more than 100 countries, accelerating change for one of the biggest global health challenges, and further strengthening LSHTM’s position as a leader in maternal, child and adolescent health.

Professor Peter Piot, Director of LSHTM, said: “We are honoured to partner with Takeda to create this Professorial Chair, the first in our School’s history to have been fully endowed through corporate support. This donation is incredibly valuable, providing ongoing funding and support for a Professorial Chair in Global Child Health – a pivotal part of our continuing mission to improve health worldwide. We are deeply thankful to Takeda for their generosity as we work together to transform the health of future generations.”

More than five million children under the age of five die each year; half of these die during the neonatal period (from birth to one month old), with the second largest number being a result of childhood infections such as pneumonia and diarrhea.

While the vast majority of these deaths are preventable, key research gaps remain. The Takeda Chair in Global Child Health will enable a ‘rising star’ to bridge research, public policy, and healthcare delivery by developing thought leadership in child survival and health through innovative research, including vaccines, neonatal care, under-nutrition, and infection diagnostics and treatments.

Professor Joy Lawn, Director of the Centre for Maternal Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health (MARCH), at LSHTM, said: “The Takeda Chair will advance the evidence base for child survival and child health around the world, enable innovations and drive an important emphasis on the science and realities of healthcare implementation. This Chair will be instrumental in linking evidence to action, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where the majority of child deaths occur. We are grateful for Takeda’s generous support which will advance child health worldwide, and aligns with the mission of LSHTM and the MARCH Centre.”

Through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, Takeda has supported health worker training and capacity building, immunisation campaigns, health system strengthening and maternal, child and newborn health in the developing world for over a decade.

Additionally, Takeda has a long history of supporting child health beyond CSR. For over 70 years, the company has supplied critical vaccines to children in Japan, and more recently is working to expand impact on global health beyond Japan through a pipeline with the potential to transform the global picture for several neglected diseases.

Christophe Weber, President and CEO of Takeda, said: “Takeda’s aim is to thrive at the cutting edge of innovation that helps solve unmet medical needs, both through our own R&D and in collaboration with exceptional partners across the globe. We believe that global health research and the training of new global healthcare professionals are essential to the ongoing translation of science into life-changing therapies for patients. This Chair does both. We are excited to partner with LSHTM, renowned for its pioneering research and uniquely placed to realise the full potential impact of the Chair, and in doing so directly benefitting millions of children and their families.”

International recruitment for the Takeda Chair in Global Child Health has now begun. Due to the perpetual nature of this endowment, this role will be awarded to generations of academics, enabling the best and brightest academic minds to have the freedom to explore innovative ways to improve global health.

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