Our history

The Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases takes its origin in the Grand Challenges Partnership first announced in Nature in 2007

This partnership was inspired by a study published in Nature involving a Delphi panel recruited from fifty countries around the world. The study identified twenty Grand Challenges in chronic non-communicable diseases and highlighted a set of priorities to address the burden of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, and certain cancers. This largely preventable, yet relatively ignored and under-resourced, group of conditions cause the greatest global share of death and disability, accounting for around 60 percent of all deaths worldwide. In low- and middle-income countries, the burden is especially significant and is projected to rapidly rise.

Reflections on a global alliance

In 2007, Professors Abdallah Daar and David Matthews co-authored a groundbreaking article in Nature Magazine.

This article outlined the case for greater joint international funding to tackle the rising epidemic of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Since the story sewed the seed, the GACD was formed and has since launched its second joint international funding call into diabetes, with members to the organisation increasing year on year. In recognition of this early vision, Abdallah Daar and David Matthews got together by telephone, to discuss their personal reflections and hopes for the GACD and its future.

Listen to the audio (4.25 minutes)

UCL and GACD (2012-2018)

In January 2012 the GACD International Secretariat was established, with University College London (UCL) selected as the original host organisation. GACD was based at the UCL Institute for Global Health for seven years. Being hosted by UCL meant that GACD as a fledgling organisation could thrive and grow.


GACD Action established as a legal entity

On 1 January 2019, the GACD Secretariat transferred from UCL to a new legal entity called GACD Action. This was established as as Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with the Charity Commission for England and Wales under the charity number 1174867.


Key events and timings from the GACD history.

  • Aug 2016

    Brazil joins GACD”:https://www.gacd.org/news/2016-08-24-brazil-joins-the-gacd

  • Sep 2016

    GACD Launches its Lung Diseases Programme at Canada House, London

  • Dec 2016

    The GACD mental health call opens, its fourth and largest funding call to date

  • Mar 2017

    Prof Glenda Gray appointed as Chair, GACD with Prof Anne Kelso as Chair Elect

  • Jun 2017

    New Zealand joins the GACD, as its 14th associate member

  • Nov 2018

    Prof Anne Kelso is appointed as Chair of the GACD Strategy Board, with Dr Mark Palmer as Chair Elect

  • Nov 2018

    CNPq is announced as the 15th associate member for GACD

  • Jan 2019

    GACD Secretariat transfer from UCL to new legal entity called GACD Action, with the Medical Research Foundation as the employer of staff and a new Board of Trustees as the legally accountable body.

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