Launched in 2008 and now in its seventeenth round of grantmaking, the initiative issued Phase I grants of $100,000 to fifty-six researchers in eleven countries working in one of six topic areas — Assess Family Planning Needs, Preferences and Behaviors to Inform Innovations in Contraceptive Technologies and Services; Develop Novel Platforms to Accelerate Contraceptive Drug Discovery; Accelerate Development of New Therapies for Childhood Cryptosporidium Infection; Design New Analytics Approaches for Malaria Elimination; Novel Approaches to Characterizing and Tracking the Global Burden of Antimicrobial Resistance; and Explore New Solutions in Global Health Priority Areas.
Selected from more than fourteen hundred applicants, recipients include Elmar Stroomer (Design Without Borders Uganda), who will work to develop an interactive game that collects data on family planning decisions in Uganda; Kevin Osteen (Vanderbilt University Medical Center), who will create a three-dimensional cell model mimicking the interior of the human uterus that can be used to discover new contraceptives and therapeutics; and Marcos Barreto (Universidade Federal da Bahia in Brazil), who plans to build an open access platform that integrates malaria surveillance data with socioeconomic and healthcare data and provides support for data analysis. Other grantees include Xun Suo (China Agricultural University), who is working to develop a rabbit model of cryptosporidiosis that can be used to identify new treatments; Gautam Dantas (Washington University), who will measure the effect of the routine use of antibiotics to treat severe malnutrition or prevent HIV infection in young children on bacterial populations and antimicrobial resistance genes in the gut; and Rebecca Traub (University of Melbourne), who will develop a method to preserve fresh stool so it can be transported to central laboratories for diagnosis of intestinal parasites.
The foundation also announced that since the last Grand Challenges Explorations grants announcement last May, thirteen existing grantees have received follow-on funding of up to $1 million each.
For a complete list of grant recipients, see the Grand Challenges website.