Grants Awarded
 
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 Grand Challenges Explorations Grants

Grand Challenges Explorations fosters creative projects that show great promise to improve the health of people in the developing world. Grants target an expanding set of global health topics, and there are two award rounds per year. Projects with demonstrated success in their initial phase of research have the opportunity to receive Phase II funding of up to $1 million.

On June 3, 2014, 52 researchers were awarded new Grand Challenges Explorations grants. Read more about these below. In addition, 3 Explorations projects were awarded Phase II funding. To read more about these new Phase II grants, select "Phase II" in the Grant Phase drop-down menu, while showing all topics and all rounds.

To review all Explorations projects, select “Show All Topics” in the Topic drop-down menu, "Show All Rounds" in the Date and Grant Round drop-down menu, and “Show All Phases” in the Grant Phase drop-down menu.

Topic
Technologies
Date and Grant Round
Grant Phase
Showing Grants 1 to 10 of 84
E-POC: A Disposable, Quantitative Point-of-Care Diagnostic for Micronutrients
Primary Investigator:
Christina Swanson, Diagnostics For All, Cambridge, MA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase II – Fall 2013
Roozbeh Ghaffari, Patrick Beattie, Jason Rolland, and Jeff Carbeck of Diagnostics For All & MC10 Inc. in the U.S. sought to develop disposable paper-based diagnostics devices embedded with optoelectronics, allowing quantitative colorimetric analysis for HIV viral load monitoring. This platform addresses practical limitations of current image capture methodologies and eliminates the need for external readers. In Phase I, they built a point-of-care detection device by incorporating ultrathin, flexible electronics onto a paper substrate, and tested its ability to quantify viral load by measuring levels of HIV p24 antigen. Having improved the sensitivity of their colorimetric assay, in Phase II Christina Swanson and her team will develop and test a new class of multiplexed, paper-microfluidic devices called electronics-enabled-Point of Care (E-POC) that can quantitate micronutrient markers from whole blood and transmit the data wirelessly to existing mobile phones equipped with near-field communication.
Retinoic Acid As An Oral Adjuvant: Is It Generalizable and Realistic?
Primary Investigator:
Paul Kelly, Queen Mary & Westfield College, London, United Kingdom - GB
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase II – Spring 2012
Paul Kelly of Queen Mary, University of London in the United Kingdom and the University of Zambia will test the idea that retinoic acid (a form of vitamin A) given with an oral vaccine will boost the mucosal immune response. If successful, vitamin A derivatives could be used as adjuvants for oral vaccines that target childhood diarrhea. In this project’s Phase I research, Kelly was able to demonstrate that retinoic acid enhances gut IgA responses to an oral typhoid vaccine in Zambian adults. In Phase II Kelly seeks to define the mechanisms by which retinoic acid works as an adjuvant, its optimal dosage, whether it works with other vaccines, and whether the effect can be generalized to children in tropical populations with varying degrees of growth impairment.
Biologic Contraceptive
Primary Investigator:
Rachel Teitelbaum, Hervana, Ltd, Beit Shemesh, Israel - IL
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase II – Fall 2012
Rachel Teitelbaum of Hervana, Ltd. in Israel will develop and test a biological vaginal formulation that produces a sperm-binding agent, which interferes with sperm motility or fertilization or both. It is hoped that this non-hormonal contraceptive will need only infrequent administration to maintain its effectiveness. In this project's Phase I research, Teitelbaum developed a lead formulation and demonstrated initial proof-of-principle that such an approach can provide effective contraception. In Phase II, Teitelbaum and her team will expand upon this proof-of-principle in animal models to arrive at a long-acting, safe, and effective contraceptive that is ready for evaluation in human trials.
Defeating Insect-Borne Diseases Using Atomic Resolution Structure
Primary Investigator:
Filippo Mancia, Columbia University, New York, NY, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase II – Fall 2012
Filippo Mancia of Columbia University in the U.S. will perform crystallization experiments on a key olfactory receptor used by mosquitoes to detect humans. The aim of these studies is to determine at an atomic level the conserved regions on the olfactory receptor in order to develop drug therapies to block these receptors. This project’s Phase I research generated diffraction quality crystals of this targeted mosquito olfactory receptor, and in Phase II, the team will optimize the crystal to determine the structure of the receptor and how it binds to small molecule anti-malarial compounds. Visualizing this interaction in atomic detail will aid in the optimization of these compounds as highly effective insect repellents.
Dietary Rice Bran Supplementation for Gut Mucosal Immunity and Rice Crop Improvement
Primary Investigator:
Elizabeth Ryan, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase II – Fall 2012
Elizabeth Ryan of Colorado State University in the U.S. will screen a diverse, global set of rice varieties to identify bioactive components in the bran that augment mucosal immunity against enteric bacterial pathogens. In this project’s Phase I research, Ryan and her team identified multiple mechanisms of mucosal immune induction and demonstrated that increased dietary rice bran intake reduces host susceptibility to enteric infections via enhanced gut mucosal immunity. Phase II studies will test the effects of dietary rice bran and rice varietal differences in bacterial and viral pathogen disease prevention models. These studies will begin the process of identifying quantitative traits that modify mucosal immunity and that can be included in rice crop improvement programs.
Scent of Disease: Diagnostic for Malaria Infection in Humans
Primary Investigator:
Mark Mescher, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, IL, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase II – Fall 2012
Mark Mescher, Consuelo De Moraes and Andrew Read of Pennsylvania State University in the U.S. will test the theory that malaria infection induces characteristic odor cues, even in asymptomatic individuals. By identifying these chemical cues with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, they will determine if there are biomarkers for diagnosis of infection that could be used to develop a diagnostic to aid in eradication of malaria. This project’s Phase I research showed that malaria does produce characteristic odor cues, including several that change through the course of infection. During Phase II, the team will research the origin and nature of these volatiles and develop assays capable of detecting them for diagnosis under real-world conditions.
A Bacterial Protease Inhibitor is a Mucosal Adjuvant
Primary Investigator:
Juliana Cassataro, Universidad de Buenos Aires-CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina - AR
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
Juliana Cassataro of Universidad de Buenos Aires-CONICET in Argentina will research whether a bacterial protein can function as both a protease inhibitor to protect antigens delivered in an oral vaccine from degradation and also as an adjuvant to stimulate an enhanced mucosal immune response.
A Low-Cost, Rapid, and Sensitive Malaria Diagnostic Tool
Primary Investigator:
Sang-Yeon Cho, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
Sang-Yeon Cho and Immo Hansen of New Mexico State University in the U.S. seeks to develop a malaria test that measures antibody-antigen reactions through a nanohole to indicate the presence of malaria parasites.
A Novel Method for Controlling Fertility and STD
Primary Investigator:
Robert Aitken, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, Northern Mariana Islands, Australia - AU
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
John Aitken of the University of Newcastle in Australia will study the mechanisms by which organic compounds called quinones may provide simultaneous protection against pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. Aitken will test the capability of quinones to react to enzymes in semen and not only immobilize sperm, but also disrupt the infective nature of pathogenic microbes found in STD infections such as Chlamydia
A Novel Test to Measure Mucosal Immunity to Vaccines
Primary Investigator:
Giulietta Saletti, International Vaccine Institute, Seoul, South Korea
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
Giulietta Saletti of the International Vaccine Institute in the Republic of Korea will work to develop an assay test that binds to tissue-specific cell markers to not only measure the concentration of anti-body secreting cells, but also identify which of those cells are targeted to mucosal tissues. If successful, this simple test that requires a small blood sample can be used in low-resource settings to measure mucosal immune responses to vaccines in infants and children.
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