Who we are
Wellcome supports science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone.
We support discovery research into life, health and wellbeing, and we’re taking on three worldwide health challenges: mental health, infectious disease and climate.
Wellcome is a politically and financially independent global charitable foundation, funded by a £29.1 billion investment portfolio.
Our founder, Sir Henry Wellcome, was a pharmaceutical entrepreneur. Our governance is based on an updated version of his will, in which he left us his wealth, his collection of historical medical items, and our mission to improve health through research.
How we work
Wellcome’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic shows how we work with academia, philanthropy, businesses, governments, civil society and the public around the world to support science’s role in solving health challenges.
Here are some of the ways we’re working to overcome Covid-19:
- Advocacy, calling for urgent investment in global research and development
- Vaccine development through the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), which Wellcome co-founded in 2017
- Treatment development through support for the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator
- Multinational clinical trials such as one led by our research programme in Thailand to test whether hydrochloroquine protects healthcare workers from Covid-19 infection
- Surveying attitudes to science, health and vaccines across the world, through studies such as the Wellcome Global Monitor, to inform research and policy
- Exploring the impact of the pandemic on mental health
- Genome sequencing hundreds of thousands of samples from Covid-19 infections at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, to help guide research, policies and interventions
- Public engagement, for example Contagious Cities, an international cultural project from 2019 that supported local conversations about epidemic preparedness
- Supporting the development of research leaders in regions most affected by infectious disease, as we’ve done through our DELTAS Africa initiative
- Discovery research across a broad range of disciplines, which has the potential to lead to unanticipated insights relevant to the global pandemic response.