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Ashok Soota to invest Rs.200 cr on medical research

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Focussed on ageing and neurological disorders, the research will include searching for kinder, gentler therapies; delaying the onset and slowing down the progression of the disease and providing persons a better quality of life even as they live with the illness

Serial IT entrepreneur Ashok Soota, founder of  MindTree and Happiest Minds, has committed to invest Rs.200 crore into a newly launched SKAN Medical research trust for Ageing and Neurological disorders.

As per a release, the research for the projects will be done through reputed partners, and directly in-house. The strategic partner for neurological research is the Centre for Brain Research (CBR) at Indian Institute Science, Bengaluru (IISc).  CBR is putting together a consortium to handle the first project on Parkinson’s disease.

The strategic partner for ageing is the upcoming St. John’s Geriatric Centre (SJGC), to be located on the St John’s Hospital campus. Soota has agreed to fund the setting up of the Centre for Research in Ageing and Geriatrics (CRAG) at the SJGC and to support joint projects.

In ageing, the approach will reportedly be to go wide into relatively under-researched areas and will include the establishment of a large community-based research cohort.  For neurological research, the plan will be to go deep into select areas like Parkinson’s disease, bipolar disorders, strokes and other cerebrovascular disorders.

For problems related to both ageing and neurological disorders, the philosophy of the research will include searching for kinder, gentler therapies; delaying the onset and slowing down the progression of the disease and providing persons a better quality of life even as they live with the illness.

Out of the committed Rs 200 crore, half is earmarked for partners such as St John’s, Centre for Brain Research (CBR), IIT-Roorkee, NIMHANS and any new partners which may be added. Rs.100 crores is earmarked for investments in SKAN and direct projects within SKAN.

Commenting on the investment Soota said, “It will take 10 years to build a world-class institution for Ageing and Neurological research. I am grateful to two eminent leaders who have agreed to take charge as Chairpersons for the two divisions in case of an exigency to me if line leadership is not ready to take charge. I have had this exigency-based arrangement in every organisation I started, be it MindTree or Happiest Minds.”

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