The National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) has opened the Rohini Nilekani Centre for Brain and Mind in Bengaluru in the Indian state of Karnataka.

Funded by a grant of Rs1bn ($12.2m), this centre aims to support research and practice related to mental health, as well as neurodevelopmental disorders.

It will study the environmental and genetic factors associated with brain development, and underlying severe mental illnesses.

The facility will collaborate with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) to facilitate research.

This research will cover conditions such as schizophrenia, addiction, bipolar disorder, dementia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The work will integrate NCBS’ molecular biological research capabilities and stem cell technologies developed at the Institute for Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine (inStem-DBT).

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inStem is an autonomous institute funded by the Indian government’s Department of Biotechnology.

Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies chairperson Rohini Nilekani said: “India has a significant number of people, around 193 million, dealing with mental illness. The proportional contribution of mental disorders to the total disease burden in India had almost doubled since 1990, and this calls for urgent attention.

“‘The Centre for Brain and Mind’ will attempt to address this challenge by driving interdisciplinary research to understand the complexities of brain and mind conditions.

“More Research originating from India is critical at this juncture. The collaboration between NCBS and NIMHANS will provide globally relevant insights, evidence, and pathways for better treatment for millions of people in India and the world.”