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Experts join hands to form genome foundation

Our Bureau

Hyderabad , Jan 25

WITH an eye on bringing the potential applications of genetics to improve human health, a Genome Foundation has been established. It intends to involve people of India with a call to every citizen to contribute at least Re 1 and get associated.

The Genome Foundation is an initiative of scientists, industry, doctors, and concerned citizens.

Dr S. Rangarajan, Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, is the Chairman while Dr Lalji Singh, Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), is one of the chief motivators.

Mr B. Ramalinga Raju, Chairman of Satyam Computer Services and Mr K.I. Varaprasada Reddy, Managing Director of Shantha Biotechnics, are key corporate members on the Executive Board of the Foundation.

Among scientists, Dr P.M. Bhargava, Vice-Chairman of Knowledge Commission, Dr K. Kasturirangan, former Chairman of ISRO, and Dr P. Rama Rao, former Chairman of the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), are on the Board.

Speaking to newspersons, Dr Rangarajan said that the foundation intends to create facilities to provide a range of services, both diagnostic and treatment for genetic disorders.

Similarly, it would undertake research work to bridge the gap between scientists and clinicians.

Dr Lalji Singh said that the Foundation is a people's foundation and registered under the Companies Act.

The Managing Director of Shantha Biotech, Mr Varaprasada Reddy, has announced a Rs 5-lakh donation to the foundation.

Dr Singh said that the burden of genetic disorders in rural India is enormous. Similarly, many genetic disorders in the country are novel. The genetic diversity also offers immense scope to understand the basis for diseases that are defying cure today.

The Foundation would strive to set up centres in different cities, especially the semi-urban areas. It would focus on providing authentic genetic diagnostic services at affordable costs. Centres for collection of blood and genetic samples within the regulatory guidelines would be created, he added.

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