Prem Watsa, a leading Canadian entrepreneur donates US$ 5 Million for Brain Research at IIT Madras


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Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, a leading Canadian financial company founded by IIT Madras Alumnus Prem Watsa, is going to support the research activities of IIT Madras’ Sudha Gopalakrishnan Brain Centre through a research grant of US$ 5 million (approximately INR 41 crore).

Watsa, who graduated from IIT Madras in 1971 with a First Class degree in Chemical Engineering, was presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1999.

The Sudha Gopalakrishnan Brain Centre was launched in March 2022 to power an ambitious Global Project to image the human brain at the cellular levels by generating unprecedented human brain data, scientific output and technology tools.

Commending the research underway at this Centre, Mr. Prem Watsa, Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, said, “The quality of work and the team’s commitment at IITM’s Sudha Gopalakrishnan Brain Centre is truly outstanding. The technology platform they have developed that generates high-resolution image volumes of human brains is unique. It has far reaching impact in advancing our knowledge of human brains, developing insights that will lead to solutions for highly challenging brain diseases.”

Watsa added, “To handle this enormous complexity, they are working in close collaboration with brain researchers in various fields around the world. Fairfax is pleased to support this cutting-edge R&D work and we wish them the very best to reach greater heights.”

Further, Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder of Infosys and Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Madras who played a key role in establishing the Centre said, “I compliment Shri Prem Watsa on his contribution to Brain Centre at IIT Madras. This augments the support the Centre is already receiving from various philanthropic and CSR funds and enables the Centre to scale up its research on human brain atlas.”

The donation was facilitated by the Canadian Friends of IIT-Madras (CFIITM), a Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) registered charity that seeks to advance the cause of IIT-Madras among its Canadian alumni and Canadian society at large.

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