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Bengaluru, NFAPost: Ashok Soota along with Karedan families announced the creation of a not-for-profit public charitable trust SKAN exclusively for medical research with an investment of Rs 200 crore.

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 of Science, Bangalore (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.

Ageing and geriatrics

Ashok 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 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 this, Rs 100 crores 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.

Neurological divisions

Commenting on the initiative, Happiest Minds Technologies Founder Ashok 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 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,” said Ashok Soota.

SKAN is on the lookout for talent including CEOs for the Ageing and Neurological divisions and many other positions.

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