The largest gift in the university's history includes $5 million in support of a Research Hub currently under construction as part of a £1 billion ($1.25 billion) campus development project. In recognition of the gift, part of the floor dedicated to public engagement will be named Shaw Plaza. The remaining $2.5 million will create a professorial chair, to be named the Mazumdar-Shaw Chair of Precision Oncology.
Mazumdar-Shaw is founder, chair, and managing director of Biocon, a biotechnology firm launched in 1978 in Bangalore, India, as a joint venture with Ireland-based Biocon Biochemicals. During her tenure as chair, she has helped transform the industrial enzymes manufacturer into a fully integrated bio-pharmaceutical company. After the couple married in 1998, Shaw retired early from textile firm Coats and helped Mazumdar-Shaw, who is now the richest woman in India and signed the Giving Pledge in 2015, grow Biocon into a biotech giant.
"As a proud alumnus of the University of Glasgow, I have the good fortune of making a gift at a time when the university is embarking on a major expansion," said Shaw, whose mother also graduated from the university. "The success of our company, Biocon, has allowed us to be philanthropic. Research at Glasgow resonates very closely with Biocon's principal interests in diabetes and cancer. Our gift therefore seeks to support research and precision oncology. The University of Glasgow has the potential to advance science to new levels and become a globally recognized research hub."
"The Research Hub…will create a unique environment which will break down organizational silos to allow the collaboration across disciplines on which world changing research breakthroughs now depend," said Sir Anton Muscatelli, the university's principal and vice-chancellor. "It will allow us to impact on many of the most pressing issues of our time including new treatments for chronic and infectious diseases and reducing poverty in the Global South. John and Kiran have long been supporters of the university, also helping develop the university's strong scientific relationship with Biocon which includes joint PhDs at the university. I am delighted that we are able to do such important work together."