Imperial College London has announced a gift of £25 million ($32.8 million) from alumna Marit Mohn to create a center dedicated to improving children's health and well-being.
The gift will fund construction of the Mohn Centre for Children's Health and Wellbeing at Imperial's School of Public Health on its new campus in White City as well as the creation of an academic chair in population child health. Among other things, the center will support research, education, and community engagement designed to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of childhood illnesses such as asthma, childhood obesity, malnutrition, and infection.
In addition, the center will conduct a cohort study of children in White City from birth to old age with the aim of deepening understanding of childhood illness and how disease in old age is connected to early-life experiences, and will pioneer a blended approach to mental and physical health, with a focus on early interventions designed to prevent young people from developing chronic disease that persists throughout their lives.
A billionaire Norwegian businesswoman, Marit Mohn Westlake (MSc, '73) has supported various programs at Imperial and created three endowed scholarships for doctorate students in chemical engineering and, through the Mohn Westlake Foundation, given £4 million ($5.25 million) to help establish and support Invention Rooms, the college's community innovation space in White City.
"Imperial's academic excellence and ambition for White City is inspirational — and I am pleased to play a part in it," said Mohn. "While rooted in the local community, this new center will drive discoveries and improve global understanding of childhood disease. We have the opportunity to change the lives of local young people in a way that will be felt for generations to come."