The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced grants of $100,000 to seventy-eight researchers from eighteen countries for innovative projects that address global health issues.
Representing the fourth round of the foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations initiative, the five-year grants are designed to encourage scientists to pursue bold ideas that lead to breakthroughs in global public health, with a focus on the prevention and diagnosis of infectious diseases and the promotion of family health. Through its first four funding rounds, the initiative has awarded grants to three hundred and forty researchers in thirty-one countries.
Projects receiving support in this funding round include testing of a low-cost cell phone microscope that diagnoses malaria; using insect-eating plants to reduce the population of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes and their larvae; developing nanoparticles that penetrate the skin through hair follicles and burst upon contact with human sweat to release vaccines; developing vitamin A probiotics to combat diarrhea; and a "seek-and-destroy" laser vaccine.
"Grand Challenges Explorations continues to generate unique and creative ways to tackle global health issues," said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. "We are convinced that some of these ideas will lead to new innovations and eventually solutions that will save lives."
For a complete list of the latest round of grantees, visit the Grand Challenges Web site.