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.


The UCL Institute for Global Health is home to the GACD International Secretariat. In June 2011, UCL was selected as the host for the GACD International Secretariat and in January 2012 the Secretariat was established within the UCL Institute for Global Health at their site at Guilford Street, London.

Prof Ibrahim Abubakar, Director of the UCL Institute for Global Health, and Prof Dame Anne Johnson, Professor of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology are members of the GACD Board in an observer capacity.

About UCL

  1. UCL was established in 1826 to open up education in England for the first time to students of any race, class or religion. UCL was later the first English university to welcome female students on equal terms with men.
  2. UCL’s founding principles of academic excellence and conducting research aimed at addressing real-world problems, match the GACD’s mission – to provide evidence based solutions to the global fight against chronic diseases.
  3. UCL ranks no 7 in “QS’s top world universities 2018 Your text to link here…
The UCL Main Quad. The UCL Institute for Global Health is home to the GACD International Secretariat.

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)


Key events and timings from the GACD history.

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