SCIENCE: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw gifts $684,000 for pandemic research

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(Our bureau, June 10) Biocon founder Kiran Mazumdar Shaw has donated ₹5 crore ($684,218) to Bengaluru-based Ignite Life Science Foundation (ILSF) to fund research projects on how India can be better prepared for future pandemics.

Launched last year by Indian American Nobel Laureate Dr. Venki Ramakrishnan, one of ILSF’s key goals is building competencies for swift and effective pandemic response, the non-profit said in a statement.

“Most advanced countries have significant private investment in science, which is lacking in India. The Ignite Life Science Foundation thus has a crucial role to play in catalyzing change, and the substantial initial donation by Kiran Mazumdar Shaw will hopefully set an example for other donors,” Dr. Ramakrishnan, who won the Nobel prize for chemistry in 2009, was quoted as saying in an Economic Times report.

The foundation is expected to announce its first project in the coming weeks, said Swami Subramaniam, CEO of ILSF. The Melbourne-educated Kiran, who features on Financial Times’ top 50 women in business list, became the second Indian in 2016 to donate a majority of her wealth to philanthropy under Gates Foundation’s ‘The Giving Pledge’.

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