Infosys Co-Founder and Non-Executive Vice Chairman S Gopalakrishnan has donated $1.8 million (around Rs 10.8 crore) to Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) to establish a research partnership between the university and the Centre for Brain Research (CBR) at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore.
In January this year, Pratiksha Trust, a charitable trust established by Gopalakrishnan and his wife Sudha Gopalakrishnan, had said it would grant Rs. 225 crore over a period of 10 years towards setting up and functioning of a center for brain research. The center will be developed by the trust in collaborated with Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, Pratiksha Trust had said.
Speaking to Business Standard, Gopalakrishnan said the Rs 10.8 crore donations announced on Friday was in addition to the already committed donations he has made, and would help in creating collaboration with CMU for the initiative.
The center will focus on finding cures for neurodegenerative conditions and diseases that get accelerated due to old age. Additionally, the center will focus on better understanding of relative functions of the brain, and leveraging the existing understanding of the functioning of the brain to create better models of computing.
"The partnership (between CBR and Carnegie) will strategically leverage the research strengths of both institutions while enhancing the connection between CMU and India," a release issued by the university said. "CMU's focus in neuroscience has been in computational and cognitive neuroscience, areas that are increasingly critical for linking biological and genetic mechanisms to understanding and discovering new therapeutic interventions of brain disorders."
The donation would be used to support post-doctoral fellowships, encourage interactions between CBR and CMU researchers and provide seed funding for research that connects CMU researchers with IISc scientists and engineers.
The partnership is aimed at two-way interactions in areas of brain research and education, and related areas like data science and engineering, human behavior and computation.
"I am very pleased to support (CMU) President Subra Suresh's strategic vision for the collaboration between CMU and IISc through this gift so that we can address one of the grand challenges of our times by understanding the human brain," Gopalakrishnan said in a statement.