Jameel Fund for Infectious Disease Research and Innovation provides new funding to several critical research projects in Saudi Arabia


Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Community Jameel and Community Jameel Saudi Arabia have announced the second wave of funding from the Jameel Fund for Infectious Disease Research and Innovation for projects tackling the threat of respiratory diseases.

Pioneering research projects at Imperial College London and King Abdulaziz University (KAU) will receive new support to help tackle the ongoing threat of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses.

Following on from the success of the first round, which supported 12 projects focused on coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID-19), SARS and MERS, the second round of funding will additionally focus on other respiratory viruses, investigating their pathogenesis (how the disease develops) and transmission.

A total of 11 projects at Imperial College London and KAU have received funding in the second round, including two joint projects between the two institutions. The selected projects will launch on October 1 at their respective institutions and will spend one-year conducting research supported by the Jameel Fund.

The scope of research for projects under the second round of the Jameel Fund spans a diverse array of topics in the field of respiratory diseases, including: long COVID; pregnancy-related immunity post-COVID; immunopathology post-COVID infection; early warning and surveillance systems for human coronaviruses; and tetravalent vaccines against MERS and COVID-19, among others.

Professor Abdulrahman bin Obaid Al-Youbi, President of King Abdulaziz University, said: “King Abdulaziz University is appreciative of the continuous support it has received from the Jameel Fund through Jameel Fund for Infectious Diseases Research and Innovation, which confirms the joint commitment of both sides to find solutions to existing problems such as infectious diseases by supporting research and innovations that are capable of reducing the burden posed by such diseases locally and globally. The university thanks Community Jameel and looks forward to strengthening this collaboration with other partnerships to serve the community.”


Hassan Jameel, Vice Chairman of Community Jameel, said: “Community Jameel’s primary aim is to empower communities to thrive by advancing science. A core pillar of this is promoting partnerships across the Global South to drive scientific breakthroughs. 

The Jameel Fund is an embodiment of this mission and we hope, through promoting cross-institutional collaboration, to support research and innovations able to curtail the risks posed by infectious diseases globally.” 

Professor Ian Walmsley, Provost of Imperial College London, said: “The Jameel Fund will provide the vital support needed for research scientists to help protect the world from respiratory viruses and the ongoing threat of Covid-19. The grants will rapidly accelerate our understanding of infectious diseases and how to prevent, diagnose and treat them. We are grateful to Community Jameel for their continued support towards our work in global health.”

Established in 2021 by Community Jameel and Community Jameel Saudi Arabia, the Jameel Fund provides funding for short-term, high-impact projects at Imperial College London and KAU that advance our ability to understand, prevent, diagnose, and treat coronaviruses and other infectious diseases, and to strengthen research collaborations between Imperial and Saudi universities in this field.

Previous projects selected under the first round of the Jameel Fund included:

  • Creating a 3D facial scanning mobile app for mass customisation of respiratory protective equipment (e.g. masks and face shields)
  • Developing rapid diagnostic screening
  • Understanding severe illness in children linked to COVID-19
  • Exploring if DNA sequencing technology can be engineered to detect new variants.

About Community Jameel:
Community Jameel advances science to help communities thrive in a rapidly changing world.

An independent, global organisation, Community Jameel was launched in 2003 to continue the tradition of philanthropy and community service established by the Jameel family of Saudi Arabia in 1945.

Community Jameel supports scientists, humanitarians, technologists and creatives to understand and address pressing human challenges in areas such as climate change, health and education.

The work enabled and supported by Community Jameel has led to significant breakthroughs and achievements, including the MIT Jameel Clinic’s discovery of the new antibiotic Halicin, critical modelling of the spread of COVID-19 conducted by the Jameel Institute at Imperial College London, and a Nobel Prize-winning experimental approach to alleviating global poverty developed by the co- founders of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab at MIT.

About Community Jameel Saudi Arabia:

Established in 2010, Community Jameel Saudi is a foundation aims at supporting and enriching the Saudi communities through six development areas: competency development, women empowerment, community well-being, entrepreneur’s advancement, climate change and humanitarian initiatives. These five areas of development share a primary goal: to act as a catalyst to create job opportunities that lead to better lives, thereby keeping the economy thriving across various industries.

Community Jameel Saudi and the Jameel family are currently celebrating three quarters of a century of philanthropy; this journey is marked through the 75 Years / 75 Voices / 75 Stories project, which includes contributions from our partners and constituents

About Imperial College London:

Imperial College London is one of the world’s leading universities. The College’s 20,000 students and 8,000 staff are working to solve the biggest challenges in science, medicine, engineering and business.

Imperial is University of the Year 2022 in the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. It is the world’s fifth most international university, according to Times Higher Education, with academic ties to more than 150 countries. Reuters named the College as the UK’s most innovative university because of its exceptional entrepreneurial culture and ties to industry.

Imperial has a greater proportion of world-leading research than any other UK university, according to the Research Excellence Framework (REF). Imperial ranks first in the UK for research outputs, first in the UK for research environment, and first for research impact among Russell Group universities.