Global leadership of the Gates Foundation visits GHDDI to support its development

Jul 17, 2018

Beijing, July 17th, 2018: Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and Dr. Trevor Mundel, President of the Global Health Division at BMGF, visited the new site of the Global Health Drug Discovery Institute (GHDDI) and met with the Institute’s scientists and staff. 


Dr. Desmond-Hellmann spoke highly of GHDDI’s achievements in drug discovery, talent recruitment and institutional development since its inception. Believing “All lives have equal value”, the Gates Foundation is committed to promoting innovations in global health and development. GHDDI, as the world’s first research institute directly founded and funded by the Gates Foundation, fits all three strategies of BMGF in China: 1) China for China; 2) Innovation; and 3) China for Africa/ China for the World. With the continuous support from BMGF, Tsinghua University and the Beijing Municipal Government, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann is confident about the future of GHDDI. She also encouraged all at GHDDI to “get things done and keep it simple” in future endeavors. 

Reflecting on the Institute’s inception in 2016, Dr. Mundel was quite surprised and happy to witness GHDDI’s tremendous progresses over the past two years. He believed that after moving into this state-of-the-art, brand new facility, GHDDI will embark on a new journey to further transform drug discovery and improve human health.


This is the first time that BMGF global leadership visits GHDDI’s new site upon its completion. Dr. Qinxian Jin, Chairman of the Board of Directors at GHDDI and Dean of the Office of Technology Transfer at Tsinghua University, Dr. Sheng Ding, Institute Director and Board Member at GHDDI and Dean of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Tsinghua University, Dr. Alex Ng, Deputy Director of BMGF China Office, and Dr. Manchun Lu, Chief Operating Officer at GHDDI also joined this visit.


Being an independent, not-for-profit research institute jointly founded by BMGF, Tsinghua University and the Beijing Municipal Government, GHDDI was registered in Beijing in August 2016. Its Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Agreement was later signed by all parties at GHDDI’s Inauguration Ceremony in March 2017. 

In less than two years, GHDDI has created an innovative institutional development pathway from scratch, and made a number of policy and systematic breakthroughs, laying the cornerstone for a sustainable research institution in China, and for the future.

In talent development, GHDDI has built a diversified team, including both senior R&D leaders and many young, energetic and highly skilled scientists with essential overseas and industrial experiences. Talent recruitment will accelerate once GHDDI’s new lab and office spaces are put into use.

In drug discovery, GHDDI has established several key platforms, including Medicinal Chemistry, Structural Biology, and CADD/AIDD etc., and launched more than ten research projects in TB, Malaria, Crypto and Wolbachia, either independently or in collaboration with some world-leading organizations. A comprehensive drug discovery pipeline is now being established.

Moving forward, GHDDI will continue to establish a transformative drug discovery and translational platform with advanced biomedical research and development capabilities, committed to addressing global health concerns and tackling the world’s most pressing disease challenges faced by many developing countries.