The Task Force for Global Health in Decatur, Georgia, has announced a five-year, $28.8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to establish a Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center.
The grant will enable the center to address the research gap on these diseases by coordinating with partners to implement a global research agenda and support the quick translation of new solutions into program policy. The center will build on existing research and take advantage of new partnerships through a collaborative project structure that includes the development of a coalition for operational research on NTDs and an advisory panel comprising leaders from the NTD community.
The grant represents a further commitment by the Gates Foundation to the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases, a pledge signed last year by nongovernmental organizations involved in research and implementation, pharmaceutical companies, bilateral and international donor agencies, and national governments to end suffering due to NTDs. The pledge complements the World Health Organization's Roadmap for Implementation (42 pages, PDF), a plan to control or eliminate most of the targeted diseases by the year 2020.
"The investment of research funding by the Gates Foundation provides the NTD community with an unparalleled opportunity to work together to address critical challenges facing NTD elimination programs," said principal investigator Patrick Lammie, senior scientist in the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria for the Center for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "This grant, and the resulting research priorities, will have a significant impact on advancing research and development through new partnerships and enhanced collaboration at national and international levels. We are very excited to have this opportunity to work with the NTD community in an innovative and meaningful way in order to ensure we have the research necessary to achieve control and elimination goals."