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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Rewards 76 New Ideas to Fight Infectious Disease

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 General News J E 4
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Scientists from Africa and Europe selected for their unconventional projects to accelerate the eradication of malaria, HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases

ARUSHA, Tanzania, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced 76 grants of US$100,000 each to pursue bold ideas for transforming health in developing countries. The grants support researchers across 16 countries, including nine in Europe and Africa with ideas as diverse as using the power of sunlight to kill malaria-causing mosquito larvae and developing a device that repels mosquitoes without insecticides.

"Some of the biggest stumbling blocks in global health are now being overcome with promising new vaccines and treatments," said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. "Grand Challenges Explorations will continue to fill the pipeline with possibilities and hopefully produce a breakthrough idea that could save untold numbers of lives."

This marks the third round of the foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations initiative to expand the pipeline of ideas for improving global health. To date, 262 researchers representing 30 countries have been awarded Grand Challenges Explorations grants.

In total, 76 grantees from round 3 were selected from almost 3,000 proposals. All levels of scientists are represented - from young post-graduate investigators to veteran researchers - as are a wide range of disciplines, such as chemistry, bioengineering, electronics, mechanical engineering, infectious disease, and epidemiology. This year's European and African grantees are based at universities, research institutes, nonprofit organizations, and private companies in Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Examples of newly-funded projects include:

Notes to Editor

About Grand Challenges Explorations

Grand Challenges Explorations is a five-year, $100 million initiative to promote innovation in global health. It is part of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative, which is supported by the Gates Foundation to achieve major breakthroughs in global health.

Applications for the next round of Grand Challenges Explorations are being accepted through November 2, 2009. Grant application instructions, including the list of topics for which proposals are currently being accepted, are available at http://www.grandchallenges.org/explorations.

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people's health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people--especially those with the fewest resources--have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Learn more at www.gatesfoundation.org.

For high-resolution still photography and information about the foundation's work, please visit: www.gatesfoundation.org/press-room/Pages/news-market.aspx.

Round 3 Winners in Africa

Round 3 Winners in Europe

-- Innovative ways to diagnose infectious diseases: -- Jackie Obey from the University of Eastern Africa in Kenya will test the efficacy of a test tube kit to indicate the presence of a protein released by the malaria parasite New strategies to fight malaria and mosquitoes -- New strategies to fight malaria and mosquitoes: -- Annette Habluetzel of the University of Camerino in Italy will create a micropellet food which, when activated by the sun, could generate toxins that kill mosquito larvae -- Peter Lubega Yiga of AdhocWorks Foundation in South Africa will test the efficacy of a fermentation-based household mosquito repellent -- More effective vaccines: -- Margaret Njoroge of Med Biotech Laboratories in Uganda will develop an intranasal vaccine for mothers, designed to induce antibodies against malaria in breast milk and confer immunity on their babies

SOURCE Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
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