Gates Foundation Announces Grand Challenges Explorations Grants

Gates Foundation Announces Grand Challenges Explorations Grants

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced more than a hundred grants of $100,000 each through its Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) initiative in support of health and development proposals with the potential to unlock transformative life-saving solutions in the developing world. The foundation also announced six phase II grants of up to $1 million each to enable existing GCE grantees to continue to advance their ideas.

New GCE grant recipients include Hideaki Tsutsui of the University of California, Riverside, who is working to develop a stamp that prints biosensors directly on maize leaves, thereby improving early detection of disease in crops; Lilian Waiboci at the Centers for Disease Control in Kenya, who is working to develop a new technology to screen twenty-one pathogens, bacteria, and viruses that cause respiratory illnesses and reduce the development of drug resistance; and Gregor Reid of the University of Western Ontario and the Lawson Health Research Institute in Canada, who with colleagues in Tanzania is testing whether yogurt supplemented with the Moringa plant can benefit under-nourished pregnant women by improving the quality of their breast milk and the types of bacteria present in their intestines.

Projects awarded additional funding include an effort by William Royea of Next Dimensions Technology, Inc. to develop and test a prototype breathalyzer device that can identify active tuberculosis in patients and distinguish between various drug-resistant strains, and Yingjie Lu and Richard Malley of Children's Hospital Boston, who successfully developed a bivalent pneumococcal and typhoid vaccine. The two researchesr will use the additional funding to perform proof-of-concept experiments in support of clinical development of the vaccine.

"Grand Challenges Explorations encourages individuals worldwide to expand the pipeline of ideas where creative, unorthodox thinking is most urgently needed," said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery and Translational Sciences at the Gates Foundation. "We're excited to provide additional funding for select grantees so that they can continue to advance their idea towards global impact."

For a complete list of new GCE grants, visit the Gates Foundation Web site.

"Breathalyzers to Test Tuberculosis and Stamped Leaves to Detect Disease in Plants." Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Press Release 05/09/2012.