The Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, has announced forty-three grants totaling $436.6 million through its Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative.
The initiative was launched by the foundation in 2003 in an effort to apply innovations in science and technology to the greatest health problems of the developing world. Each of the projects funded through the initiative seeks to tackle one of fourteen major scientific challenges that, if solved, could lead to important advances in the prevention and treatment of diseases that kill millions of people in the world's poorest countries.
The projects to be funded will address a series of challenges, including the development of improved childhood vaccines that do not require refrigeration, needles, or multiple doses; developing new ways of preventing the transmission of diseases by insects; growing more nutritious staple crops as a way of combating malnutrition; discovering ways to prevent drug resistance; developing methods to treat latent and chronic infections such as tuberculosis; and more accurately diagnosing and tracking diseases throughout the developing world.
"It's shocking how little research is directed toward the diseases of the world's poorest countries," said Gates Foundation co-founder Bill Gates. "By harnessing the world's capacity for scientific innovation, I believe we can transform health in the developing world and save millions of lives."
The initiative is supported by a $450 million commitment from the Gates Foundation, as well as $27.1 million from the London-based Wellcome Trust and $4.5 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in Ottawa.
For complete descriptions (19 pages, PDF) of the forty-three projects to be funded, see: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/nr/downloads/globalhealth/