The London-based Wellcome Trust has announced grants totaling £29 million ($36.5 million) in support of research partnerships aimed at improving population and planetary health.
Awarded through the foundation's £75 million ($94.4 million) Our Planet, Our Health initiative, which is working to develop a stronger evidence base with respect to the impact of humans on ecosystems, the grants will support four partnerships involving scientists in Australia, South America, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Teams receiving grants in the area of urban environment and health are led by Ana Diez Roux (Drexel University), who will study the links between health and the physical, natural, and economic environments in highly urbanized Latin America; and Rebekah Brown (Monash University), who will investigate how nature-based solutions can help improve the sanitation and environment of people living in informal urban settlements in Fiji and Indonesia.
In the area of global food systems and health, grants were awarded to partnerships led by Charles Godfray (Oxford University), who will examine the environmental and health impacts of animal-sourced food and what their future could look like; and Alan Dangour (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), who will build on his work to explore the factors that create sustainable and healthy food systems in India and South Africa.
"The diversity of these partnerships reflects how wide-ranging the issues of planetary health are," said Sarah Molton, who leads Wellcome's Our Planet, Our Health initiative. "There are so many factors that need to be addressed if we are to create a healthy and sustainable future. These major research programs bring together collaborators from all over the world to explore how we can create health, not just prevent disease, while being responsible custodians of the planet."