LVPEI, IIM Ahmedabad and IIPH win DBT India Alliance CRC grant of about Rs 10 crore

LVPEI, IIM Ahmedabad, IIPH, DBT India Alliance, CRC, Chirantan Chatterjee, Dr Murthy, Dr. Narayanan, Harvard, Stanford University, Gullapalli N Rao, Clinical Research Training Programme, CRTP, Indian healthcare

The team will be advised by an international advisory board of health economists and medical outcomes researchers from Harvard and Stanford University among others

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), IIM Ahmedabad and the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Hyderabad have won a unique Wellcome Trust/ DBT India Alliance Clinical/Public Health Research Center (CRC) grant of about Rs 10 crore, to set up a first of its kind centre for excellence in health outcomes research and economics.

The process of selection included a rigorous application submission stage, an international peer review stage and a final interview that spanned over six months from earlier in the year. The team includes Dr Raja Narayanan, Dr Anthony Vipin Das from LVPEI, Dr Chirantan Chatterjee from IIM Ahmedabad and Dr Murthy from IIPH, Hyderabad. Dr. Narayanan is the PI for the project and other members are co-PIs.

The team will be advised by an international advisory board of health economists and medical outcomes researchers from Harvard and Stanford University among others. Over the next five years, the centre proposes to create a first of its kind unit of excellence, that will use big data in Indian healthcare along with machine learning and economic tool kits to advance the understanding of evidence-based policy making in Indian healthcare. The upcoming centre also proposes to recruit world class postdoctoral fellows, research assistants and conduct training of doctors to engage in economic evidence based clinical decision making, such as cost effectiveness studies with data from India through the Clinical Research Training Programme (CRTP) Fellowships embedded within the CRC grant. In its ambition, the center aims to be a role model for more such centers beyond India in the developing world.

Dr Gullapalli N Rao, Founder-Chair, LVPEI, said, “The India Alliance grant opens up a lot of possibilities for clinical research training, big data science, health economics and health policy in India. LVPEI has always been focused on clinical research since its inception and has a strong record in publishing research in the world in the field of ophthalmology. Our collaboration with the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad and Indian Institute of Public Health would lay the foundation for data driven Health Care in India.”

Dr Murthy from IIPH, Hyderabad said, “The cornerstone for a positive transformation of people’s health is the existence of a skill base that produces quality evidence that drives policy. The mission of the Indian Institute of Public Health (Public Health Foundation of India) is to find appropriate solutions to public health challenges in India. This unique collaboration has the potential to scale up quality of eye research that will contribute to eliminating avoidable blindness in India and the South Asia region”

Prof Chirantan Chatterjee, IIMA said, “This is a delightful opportunity to change the face of healthcare in India, and also a matter of great responsibility. I look forward to working with a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, public health specialists and machine learning experts.”