Through the initiative, which supports bold and unconventional ideas related to global health, nine researchers were awarded up to $1 million each in additional funding to continue work on their innovations. The recipients, whose projects align with the foundation's strategic global health priorities, including vaccines, family health, and infectious disease, earned the grants by demonstrating success during their initial grant period.
Projects receiving support include efforts to create light barriers that can repel mosquitoes from their human targets, thereby reducing malaria transmission; research on the use of novel proteins called homing endonucleases to interfere with HIV DNA in infected cells, effectively eliminating the virus from the cells; and efforts to create a new way to quantify and profile cellular immune responses to vaccinations, specifically for the influenza and rotavirus vaccines, to improve their effectiveness.
"Our continued investments in these projects are designed to achieve the highest possible impact, for the greatest number of people, over the longest period of time," said Chris Wilson, director of the Global Health Discovery program at the Gates Foundation. "We have set ambitious goals that we know we cannot accomplish alone — we hope that other researchers and funders will join us in our efforts to broaden the pipeline of ideas to save lives."
For a complete list of Grand Challenges projects funded in this round, visit the Grand Challenges Web site.