VIDO is getting a boost towards its ongoing research into infectious diseases from a Saskatoon couple.
Malcolm and Marilyn Leggett made a $1 million donation to the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization on Friday.
Malcolm Leggett said it will support VIDO in helping wherever vaccines are needed around the world.
“I think this is far bigger than one vaccine. This is a whole different category on its own,” he said.
“It’s got the potential to be so rewarding. I don’t really think we can visualize what the potential is for something like VIDO.”
Dr. Volker Gerdts called the donation “extraordinary.”
“Knowing we have this level of support from leaders in our community is critical to our organization and our vision for the future,” said Gerdts, VIDO’s director and CEO.
VIDO is currently developing Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research at the University of Saskatchewan.
USask president Peter Stoicheff said Leggett’s donation highlights the importance of research.
“The Leggetts’ gift is a testament to the life-changing research being conducted on our campus that will undoubtedly enhance the lives of people around the world,” Stoicheff said.
Construction on VIDO’s $65-million project is currently underway and is expected to be completed over the next three years.
VIDO has said it will be able to produce between 20 and 40 million doses of vaccines each year and improve the lab’s level-three containment facility to level four, the highest possible with the expansion.