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Serial entrepreneur and the executive chairman of Happiest Minds Technologies Ltd, Ashok Soota, on Sunday announced the launch of a not-for-profit medical research trust, SKAN, with a commitment of 200 crore.

Out of the total corpus, 100 crore will be earmarked for research partners, including St. John’s Geriatric Centre, Centre for Brain Research, (CBR) IIT-Roorkee and NIMHANS, while 100 crore will be for in-house projects.

SKAN has identified Centre for Brain Research at Indian Institute Science, Bangalore, as a strategic partner for neurological research.

“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 organization I started, be it Mindtree or Happiest Minds," Soota said.

According to SKAN, CBR is putting together a consortium to handle a project on Parkinson’s disease.

Soota will also fund the setting up of the Geriatric Centre at St John’s Hospital campus, which will be the strategic partner for research on ageing. The centre will focus on relatively under-researched areas, including the establishment of a large community-based joint research group. SKAN will also focus on research for neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, stroke, bipolar disorders, and other cerebrovascular disorders, it said.

“For problems related to 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," SKAN said in a statement.

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