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The Wellcome Trust is a charitable foundation focused on health research based in London, in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1936 with legacies from the pharmaceutical magnate
Henry Wellcome Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (August 21, 1853 – July 25, 1936) was an American pharmaceutical entrepreneur. He founded the pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome & Company with his colleague Silas Burroughs in 1880, which is one of the f ...
(founder of one of the predecessors of
GlaxoSmithKline GSK plc, formerly GlaxoSmithKline plc, is a British Multinational corporation, multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company with global headquarters in London, England. Established in 2000 by a Mergers and acquisitions, merger of Gl ...
) to fund research to improve human and animal health. The aim of the Trust is to "support science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone." It had a
financial endowment A financial endowment is a legal structure for managing, and in many cases indefinitely perpetuating, a pool of Financial instrument, financial, real estate, or other investments for a specific purpose according to Donor intent, the will of its fou ...
of £29.1 billion in 2020, making it the fourth wealthiest charitable foundation in the world. In 2012, the Wellcome Trust was described by the ''
Financial Times The ''Financial Times'' (''FT'') is a British daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray ba ...
'' as the United Kingdom's largest provider of non-governmental funding for scientific research, and one of the largest providers in the world. According to their annual report, the Wellcome Trust spent GBP £1.1Bn on charitable activities across their 2019/2020 financial year. According to the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques, ''OCDE'') is an intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organisation with 38 member countries ...
, the Wellcome Trust's financing for 2019 development increased by 22% to US$327 million.


Headquarters

The Wellcome Trust's operations are run from two buildings on
Euston Road Euston Road is a road in Central London that runs from Marylebone Road to Kings Cross, London, King's Cross. The route is part of the London Inner Ring Road and forms part of the London congestion charge zone boundary. It is named after Euston ...
in
London London is the capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom, with a population of just under 9 million. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary dow ...
. The Wellcome Building, at 183 Euston Road, built in 1932 in
Portland stone Portland stone is a limestone from the Tithonian stage of the Jurassic period Quarry, quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The quarries are cut in beds of white-grey limestone separated by chert beds. It has been used extensively as a buil ...
houses the Wellcome Collection and the adjoining glass and steel building at 215 Euston Road is the Gibbs Building, by Hopkins Architects, which opened in 2004 as the administrative headquarters of the Wellcome Trust. In 2019, the Wellcome Trust also opened an office in Berlin.


History

The trust was established to administer the fortune of the American-born British pharmaceutical magnate Sir
Henry Wellcome Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (August 21, 1853 – July 25, 1936) was an American pharmaceutical entrepreneur. He founded the pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome & Company with his colleague Silas Burroughs in 1880, which is one of the f ...
. Its income was derived from what was originally called Burroughs Wellcome, later renamed in the UK as the Wellcome Foundation Ltd. In 1986, the trust sold 25% of Wellcome plc stock to the public. Overseen by incoming Director of Finance Ian Macgregor, this marked the beginning of a period of financial growth that saw the trust's value increase by almost £14bn in 14 years, as their interests moved beyond the bounds of the pharmaceutical industry. In 1995, the trust divested itself of any interest in pharmaceuticals by selling all remaining stock to Glaxo plc, the company's historic British rival, creating GlaxoWellcome plc. In 2000, the Wellcome name disappeared from the drug business altogether when GlaxoWellcome merged with SmithKline Beecham, to form
GlaxoSmithKline GSK plc, formerly GlaxoSmithKline plc, is a British Multinational corporation, multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company with global headquarters in London, England. Established in 2000 by a Mergers and acquisitions, merger of Gl ...
plc.


Activities


Biomedical research


Major investments

The Trust funds or co-funds a number of major biomedical research initiatives: * Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), a cohort study of children born in England during 1991 and 1992. * The Cancer Genome Project at the
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute The Wellcome Sanger Institute, previously known as The Sanger Centre and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, is a non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO) or non-profit organisation, also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit orga ...
. * The
Diamond Light Source Diamond Light Source (or Diamond) is the UK's national synchrotron light source A synchrotron light source is a source of electromagnetic radiation (EM) usually produced by a storage ring, for scientific and technical purposes. First obser ...
, the UK's national synchrotron science facility in Oxfordshire. * Developing Excellence in Leadership, Training and Science Initiative (DELTAS), a collaboration with the
Department for International Development The Department for International Development (DFID) was a Departments of the Government of the United Kingdom, department of Government of the United Kingdom, HM Government responsible for administering foreign aid from 1997 to 2020. The goal of ...
(DFID) to establish cutting-edge research and training programmes across the African continent. * The Ebola Emergency Initiative, a fast-tracked research programme with the goal of identifying clinical and public health interventions to counter the West African Ebola Epidemic. * The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation/ Wellcome Trust Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory facilitates research into the genetic component of type 1 diabetes and is based in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. * The Seeding Drug Discovery Initiative. * The
Structural Genomics Consortium The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) is a public-private-partnership focusing on elucidating the functions and disease relevance of all proteins encoded by the human genome, with an emphasis on those that are relatively understudied. The SGC pl ...
, an international organisation focussing on three-dimensional structures of proteins of medical relevance with an emphasis on
open data Open data is data In the pursuit of knowledge, data (; ) is a collection of discrete values that convey information, describing quantity, quality, fact, statistics, other basic units of meaning, or simply sequences of symbols th ...
. * The
Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute The Wellcome Sanger Institute, previously known as The Sanger Centre and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, is a non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO) or non-profit organisation, also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit orga ...
, a
non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO) or non-profit organisation, also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, in co ...
, British
genomics Genomics is an interdisciplinary field of biology focusing on the structure, function, evolution, mapping, and editing of genomes. A genome is an organism's complete set of DNA, including all of its genes as well as its hierarchical, three-dime ...
and
genetics Genetics is the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms.Hartl D, Jones E (2005) It is an important branch in biology because heredity is vital to organisms' evolution. Gregor Mendel, a Moravian Augustinians, Augustinian fr ...
research institute. * UK Biobank and the UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council.


Asia and Africa Programmes

* The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, established in 1989 in partnership with the Kenya Medical Research Institute. * The Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, established in 1995. * The Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies in South Africa, established in 1998 in partnership with the South African Medical Research Council. * The Wellcome Trust-Mahidol University-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Programme in partnership with the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, researching in Thailand and Laos and established in 1979. * The Vietnam Research Programme and Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in
Ho Chi Minh City Ho Chi Minh City ( vi, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh; Vietnamese dialects, Northern , Southern Vietnamese, Southern ), formerly (and still commonly) known as Saigon ( vi, ; Vietnamese dialects, Northern , Southern Vietnamese, Southern ), is the larg ...
and
Hanoi Hanoi or Ha Noi ( or ; vi, Hà Nội ) is the capital and second-largest city of Vietnam. It covers an area of . It consists of 12 urban districts, one district-leveled town and 17 rural districts. Located within the Red River Delta, Hanoi i ...
.


Seeding Drug Discovery Initiative

Also known as SDDI, this five-year initiative started in October 2005 with the remit "to facilitate the development of drug-like small molecules that address unmet medical needs." SDDI was based in London and managed by Richard Davis. Through early 2010, SDDI had provided more than £80 million across 30 projects split between academic institutions and companies. To early 2010, all but one of the company recipients were either start-ups or spin-outs. In May 2010, an additional £110 million was added to the SDDI fund with the intent to extend the initiative for an additional 5 years.


= Supporting global research and development in COVID-19

= The Wellcome Trust announced the need for at least $8 billion of new funding for research, development, and supply of treatments related to COVID-19.


Improving research culture

In September 2019, Wellcome launched an initiative to reimagine research and improve the culture in which research is conducted. Current incentive structures and, as a result, culture and practices, prioritise publication outputs above all else. This is damaging people's wellbeing and undermining the quality of research itself.


Support for Open Access and Open Data

The Wellcome Trust plays an important role in encouraging publication of research in
open access Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization an ...
repositories such as Europe PubMed Central (EuropePMC). The Wellcome Trust believes that maximising the distribution of these papers – by providing free, online access – is the most effective way of ensuring that the research can be accessed, read and built upon. In turn, this will foster a richer research culture. In 2016, the Wellcome Trust partnered with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the
Howard Hughes Medical Institute The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is an American non-profit medical research organization based in Chevy Chase (CDP), Maryland, Chevy Chase, Maryland. It was founded in 1953 by Howard Hughes, an American business magnate, investor, record ...
to launch the Open Science Prize to "help develop services, tools and platforms that enable open content to be discovered, assessed and re-used in ways that will advance discovery and spark innovation." In 2016, Wellcome Trust announced that it would be launching Wellcome Open Research, an
open access Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization an ...
publication system running on the F1000 Research platform.
Article processing charge An article processing charge (APC), also known as a publication fee, is a fee which is sometimes charged to authors. Most commonly, it is involved in making a work available as open access (OA), in either a full open access journal, OA journal or i ...
s will be covered directly by Wellcome Trust. Papers from the system are now indexed in
PubMed Central PubMed Central (PMC) is a free digital repository A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online database An online database is a database In computing, a da ...
.


Membership in the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT)

In the summer of 2015, the Wellcome Trust joined the Japanese government, 7 Japanese pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the United Nations Development Program as funding partner of the Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT), which funds scientific research and development for anti-infectives and diagnostics for diseases that primarily affect the developing world.


Public engagement and the Wellcome Collection

In June 2007, the Wellcome Building reopened after refurbishment as a public venue, housing the Wellcome Collection, the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at
University College London University College London, which Trade name, operates as UCL, is a Public university, public research university in London, United Kingdom. It is a Member institutions of the University of London, member institution of the Federal university, fe ...
and the Wellcome Library. The aim of the Wellcome Collection is to enhance public understanding of medical science and history. The building contains gallery spaces, conference facilities, space for debates, drama and workshops, a café and a bookshop. The galleries show a small sample of works from Sir Henry Wellcome's collection, and host a programme of events and exhibitions. The Wellcome Collection and exhibitions are open to the public free of charge six days a week. The Wellcome Collection and Wellcome Library are members of
The London Museums of Health & Medicine The London Museums of Health & Medicine is a group that brings together some of the activities of several museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is a building or institution that Preservation (library and archival science), ...
.


Wellcome Photography Prize

The Wellcome Trust runs an annual photography prize which aims to explore "the human side of three urgent health challenges". Judges in 2021 include Dr Dixon Chabanda, Sir Jeremy Farrar, Dr Katerina Srahulkova and Azu Nwagbogu. Winners in each category receive a prize of £10,000.


Wellcome Book Prize

The Wellcome Trust sponsors an annual book prize, the Wellcome Book Prize, which "aims to excite public interest and encourage debate" around medicine and health.


Wellcome Global Monitor

In June 2019, Wellcome released the results of the 2018 global survey on public attitudes toward science and health. Topics include trust of scientists, doctors, and nurses; religion and science, and vaccines, among others. It was Wellcome's first Global Monitor and was intended to "provide robust evidence on how public attitudes vary across different demographic groups and countries."


Investments

In August 2014, the Wellcome Trust bought the Co-operative Group's farm business (renamed Farmcare) for £249 million. This comprised "15,997 hectares (39,533 acres) of freehold and third party owned land, 15 farms, including three pack houses, over 100 residential properties, and 27 commercial properties." In 2015 the trust bought the
Premier Marinas Premier Marinas Limited, owned by the Wellcome Trust The Wellcome Trust is a charitable foundation focused on health research based in London, in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1936 with legacies from the pharmaceutical magnate Hen ...
group.


Criticisms

It has been reported that the Wellcome Trust has billions of investments on companies which contribute to the problems the philanthropy wants to solve. Also in the context of the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
, it has been revealed that the trust has investments with pharmaceutical companies, which means it should gain financially from the pandemic.


See also

* Heads of International Research Organizations *
List of wealthiest charitable foundations This is a list of wealthiest charitable foundations worldwide. It consists of the 45 largest Foundation (nonprofit organization), charitable foundations, private foundations engaged in philanthropy, and other charitable organizations such as Charit ...


References


External links

*
Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC)





Ex Memoria – Wellcome Trust Awarded Film

Surgery Live
a Wellcome Collection collaboration with
Channel 4 Channel 4 is a British free-to-air public broadcast television network operated by the state-owned Channel Four Television Corporation. It began its transmission on 2 November 1982 and was established to provide a fourth television servic ...

European Society for Clinical Microbioloy and Infectious Diseases

Federation of European Biochemical Societies

European Federation of Pharmaceutical Societies

International Society for Infectious Diseases
{{Authority control Organizations established in 1936 Biomedical research foundations Foundations based in the United Kingdom Funding bodies in the United Kingdom Health charities in the United Kingdom Science and technology in the United Kingdom 1936 establishments in the United Kingdom British landowners