September 17, 2018

Building the Field of Neuroscience Research in India: The Centre for Brain Research

Photo: CBR

The Centre for Brain Research (CBR) at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, Karnataka, is a pioneering research institution that conducts clinical neuroscience studies focused on brain disorders among the Indian population. CBR’s first project addresses aging-related brain disorders.

This profile is one in a series of eight that illustrate several unique roles that bold philanthropy can play in surmounting India’s many social challenges. Though identified in the Indian context, these roles are so foundational to the global philanthropic ecosystem that they can be thought of as archetypes of bold giving. You can learn more about these archetypes in our report Bold Philanthropy in India: Insights from Eight Social Change Initiatives.

Primary Philanthropist:

Kris Gopalakrishnan

Grant Amount:

INR 255 crores (USD 38.5 million) over 10 years

Primary Focus:

Health—clinical research


Build a field CBR fills a deep knowledge gap in the field of longitudinal, cohort-based brain research in India.

Key Partners:

  • Indian Institute of Science (IISc)
  • Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras)
  • National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS)
  • Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College

Why Bold?

CBR fills a white space in the field of brain research by conducting long‑term studies to better understand the factors that cause and protect against dementia in the Indian population. CBR emphasizes a collaborative approach through a public-private partnership within India and by partnering with local and global research institutions. It aspires to build the first India-specific reference genome, which will help scientists across disciplines, not just in brain research.

Key Learnings:

  • Use philanthropic funding as risk capital to seed less-funded initiatives
  • Fill knowledge gaps that catalyze efforts across the field 
  • Collaborate with partners to accelerate progress
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