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$12.5 million gift to university from Vishnu Vardhan, M.D.
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$12.5 million gift to university from Vishnu Vardhan, M.D.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Grainger College of Engineering received a $12.5 million gift to establish a center that blends computing and medicine to combat chronic disease and improve wellness.

Robert J. Jones, Illinois Urbana-Champaign chancellor, and the donor, Vishnu Vardhan, M.D., the founder and CEO of Vizzhy, Inc., signed the agreement in a formal ceremony held in Bangalore, India, in November, 2023. Pending approval, the center will be named the Srinivasulu AI for Wellness Center in honor of Vardhan’s father and will focus on harnessing artificial intelligence to cure metabolic diseases, specifically diabetes.

At the signing, Dr. Vardhan cited results from the 2019 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, indicating metabolic health issues affect 80 percent of the U.S. population, primarily due to sedentary lifestyles and diets comprised of processed food.

The vision for the wellness center is to reach beyond treating metabolic diseases to preventing the causes and reversing the prior impacts of these diseases. The concept is in concert with Grainger Engineering’s strategic emphasis on driving innovation and providing solutions to current and future technology challenges.

“As one of the premier engineering colleges in the nation, we are committed to ingenuity and creating new pathways for a better future for all,” said Rashid Bashir, dean, The Grainger College of Engineering. “Dr. Vardhan’s investment in cutting-edge research showcases what Grainger Engineers do exceptionally well – use their ingenuity to solve pressing problems and create a better future for all.”

The new center will be housed in the Coordinated Science Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research lab focused on information technology at the crossroads of circuits, computing, control and communications. CSL explores critical issues in medicine, defense, environmental sciences, robotics, life-enhancement for the disabled and aeronautics.

Vishnu Vardhan, M.D. is an Orthopedic and Ballistic Trauma surgeon, seasoned healthcare manager turned Healthcare entrepreneur.

I have worked in Top management positions in Aditya birla, Apollo hospitals, Fortis health care and United Nation support Office for Africa with 2 decades of experience in Healthcare management, Strategy P&L, clinical operations and Digital healthcare.

In Massachusetts institute of technology, I have worked on Care management analytics, healthcare operations research, IoT, Artificial intelligence and Blockchain.

He did extensive work on using Behavioral economics and game theory in solving healthcare problems.

Daytoday is a global health tech company based in Boston and works in the area of care management and personalized healthcare using AI models, behavioral coaching and IoT.

Photo: Vishnu Vardhan, M.D. and Chancellor Jones presenting the agreement to establish the Srinivasulu AI for Wellness Center.

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