Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Karnataka, Monday will inaugurate the Center for Brain Research (CBR) and Super Computing Facility and also lay the foundation stone for Bagchi-Parthasarathy Multispeciality Hospital to be built at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) campus in Bengaluru.
PM Modi had laid the foundation stone of the CBR in February 2015.
“Research at CBR represents an integrative approach encompassing genetics, imaging, cognition and computational methods while bringing together large groups with diverse expertise to address the complex challenges of understanding brain functioning in health and disease. We aim to develop and foster large-scale research programs and build capacity focused on interdisciplinary neuroscience research in India, thereby setting the stage for our scientists to contribute significantly to the endeavor of understanding the human brain and discovering rational therapies and cures for brain disorders, ” says IISc in its website.
CBR was established in 2014 as an institution dedicated to study the numerous aspects of the functioning of the brain. The specific focus areas of the institution are to find cures for neurodegenerative conditions and diseases that are expedited by old age, and a better understanding of relative functions of the brain.
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In 2014, Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan announced a grant of Rs 225 crore from Pratiksha Trust, to an NGO he co-founded with his wife Sudha Gopalakrishnan, towards the setting up of CBR.
Sharwaree Gokhale, former secretary with the Maharashtra government, in her will, donated a major portion of her estate to the Centre. In 2021, entrepreneur and the executive chairman of Happiest Minds Technologies Ltd, Ashok Soota, announced the launch of a not-for-profit medical research trust, SKAN. CBR was identified by SKAN as a strategic partner for neurological research.
In 2020, the Department of Biotechnology announced a gene mapping project. The national project is funded by the department and spearheaded by CBR with an aim to identify genetic variations through whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of 10,000 representative individuals across India in the first phase of the study.
The specific aims of the project include designing genome wide arrays for research and diagnostics at an affordable cost and establishing a biobank for DNA and plasma collected for future use in research.
The IISc in February inked a partnership with philanthropists Susmita and Subroto Bagchi, and Radha and NS Parthasarathy who collectively donated Rs 425 crore to set up a postgraduate medical school along with a multi-speciality hospital on its campus. The key enabler of this endeavor would be the not-for-profit, 800-bed multi-speciality hospital, catering to the clinical training and research activities of the academic programme.
The hospital will be called the Bagchi-Parthasarathy Hospital.
The academic centrepiece of this initiative will be an integrated dual degree MD-PhD program aimed at creating a new breed of physician-scientists, who will pursue careers in clinical research to develop new treatments and healthcare solutions, driven by a bench-to-bedside philosophy. They will be trained simultaneously in the hospital as well as in the science and engineering laboratories at IISc.