Skip Navigation LinksHome > Explorations > Grants Awarded

 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 November 20, 2013, 81 researchers were awarded new Grand Challenges Explorations grants. Read more about these below. In addition, 13 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 1016
A "Smart Diaphragm" for the Early Detection of Preterm Labor
Primary Investigator:
Larry Rand, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 6 – April 2011
Phase:
Phase II – Fall 2013
Larry Rand and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco in the U.S. will develop a vaginal diaphragm to detect changes in cervical collagen and wirelessly alert health providers before preterm labor begins. This device would identify a new pre-labor "window" during which intervention could reduce mortality and disability resulting from preterm birth among at-risk pregnant women. In Phase I, they designed an easy to use and low-cost device incorporating electrical impedance detection circuitry and fiber optic cable to accurately measure collagen concentration in the cervix of pregnant women over time. Prototypes were built for clinical tests to evaluate the capacity for identifying pregnant women at risk of preterm birth, as well as comfort and acceptability. In Phase II they will optimize the device to make it more robust and user-friendly and expand clinical testing to rural settings in South Africa. They will also develop phone-to-cloud technology for wirelessly collecting the measurements from the device through a mobile phone to a server (cloud) for analysis, and to enable return of the prognosis.
A Cell-Based Screen for Discovery of a Macrofilaricide
Primary Investigator:
Kelly Johnston, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, United Kingdom - GB
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Kelly Johnston and others from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom will develop a cell line from a parasitic filarial nematode worm that can proliferate continuously in vitro to enable high-throughput screening of candidate anti-filarial drugs. Current drug screening efforts are limited by the complex life cycle of the worms and the difficulties of obtaining sufficient numbers of worms. They will isolate worm cells from various life cycle stages and use a high-content screening approach to monitor thousands of cells cultured under different conditions to increase the probability of detecting a stably growing cell line. Once one or more stable cell lines have been produced, they will establish optimal culture conditions for drug screening assays.
A Continuous in vitro Culture System for Cryptosporidium
Primary Investigator:
L. David Sibley, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
L. David Sibley and colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine in the U.S. will generate epithelial cells derived from isolated intestinal stem cells for the continuous in vitro culture of the parasite Cryptosporidium, which causes severe diarrheal disease in both humans and animals, and is refractory to many anti-parasitic drugs. Currently, Cryptosporidium can only be grown in infected calves and short-term in vitro cultures, precluding high-throughput chemical screens for new drugs. They will adapt recently developed methods to isolate and expand intestinal stem cells from humans and mice, and induce them to differentiate into an epithelial cell monolayer mimicking the small intestine. This will be inoculated with infective oocysts from two Cryptosporidium species, which will then be tested for their ability to replicate and form a stable cell culture.
A Decoy Artificial Snail Host (DASH) to Control S. mansoni
Primary Investigator:
Edwin Routledge, Brunel University, London, United Kingdom - GB
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Edwin Routledge of Brunel University in the United Kingdom will work towards developing an artificial snail decoy to attract the parasite Schistosoma mansoni, which causes chronic disease. The parasites first develop inside aquatic snails, which they locate via chemical cues (chemoattractants), before they can infect humans. Routledge will identify the relevant chemoattractants by isolating and fractionating chemicals from the snails, and test the ability of these chemicals to attract the parasites. Effective chemoattractants will be characterized and ultimately incorporated into a biodegradable matrix to generate an artificial snail that is easy to deploy in the field and can trap and destroy the parasites, thereby reducing human transmission.
A Human Powered Precision Seeder
Primary Investigator:
Ricardo Capúcio de Resende, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa, Brazil - BR
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Ricardo Capúcio de Resende of Universidade Federal de Viçosa in Brazil will design and test a new machine to enable women smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to more efficiently and effectively plant seeds. He has designed a new seeder concept using only two rotating parts, which is light, easy to use and maintain, and can simultaneously plant two crops. He will query local manufacturers and users to further develop the design, and then produce prototypes that will be bench- and field-tested for manufacturability and performance. The results will be used to produce the final seeder design, and this design concept could be applied to other agricultural machines.
A New Tool for Harvesting Cassava
Primary Investigator:
Samuel Okurut, National Agricultural Research Organization, Kampala, Uganda - UG
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Samuel Okurut and a team from the National Agricultural Research Organization in Uganda will develop a simple low-cost tool for women smallholder farmers to more easily and efficiently harvest cassava, which is a major staple food in the developing world. The classical, manual method for harvesting cassava is labor and cost intensive, involving hoeing and digging in a bent posture. The new tool will be developed with input from women farmers and key stakeholders, and designed to be operated in a more upright posture. The cost-benefit of the tool will be tested in the field, and the feasibility of training and local fabrication will be explored.
A New Whole-Organism Vaccine Against Malaria
Primary Investigator:
Miguel Prudencio, Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Lisboa, Portugal - PT
Topic:
Round:
Round 5 – November 2010
Phase:
Phase II – Fall 2013
Miguel Prudencio of Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Portugal will test the theory that modified live rodent malaria parasites (P. berghei) can be used in a vaccine to elicit a strong immune response in humans without being able to infect human red blood cells and cause illness. This was successfully tested in Phase I, and they also established that the human antigens carried by the parasites could induce a selective immune response in mice. In Phase II, they will test their vaccine in Phase I/IIa human trials and evaluate it for safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity. They will also extend their approach to another human malaria parasite P. vivax, and begin optimizing methods for large-scale vaccine production.
A Rift Valley Fever Vaccine for Use in Humans and Animals
Primary Investigator:
George Warimwe, The Jenner Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom - GB
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
George Warimwe of the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom will develop a vaccine to protect a variety of species, including humans, sheep and cattle, against Rift Valley fever, which can cause serious illness. Current vaccines that are in development have safety concerns for use in humans. They have developed a Rift Valley fever vaccine using a replication-deficient simian adenovirus as a safe vector that is easy and inexpensive to manufacture, and have tested its safety and immunogenicity in mice, and begun field-testing in sheep in Kenya. They will test safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine and the effect of an adjuvant in calves and goats, and compare this with the data from mice and sheep.
A Time-Saving Tool for Stripping Groundnut Pods
Primary Investigator:
Tobias Oker, National Agricultural Research Organization, Kampala, Uganda - UG
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
Tobias Oker and a team from the National Agricultural Research Organization in Uganda will develop a simple plucking tool to more efficiently remove the pods from groundnuts, which is currently done by hand and is labor-intensive and time-consuming for women. They will query farming communities on current harvesting methods to refine their design, and evaluate performance, labor cost, and perceptions in the field using prototypes compared to traditional methods. They will also train users and local manufacturers to fabricate the tools and encourage their use.
Aligning Data Across Incompatible Geographical Units
Primary Investigator:
H.V. Jagadish, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 11 – November 2013
Phase:
Phase I
H.V. Jagadish of the University of Michigan in the U.S. will take disparate datasets on diverse topics, including education, health, and the environment, which are often reported using different geographical units such as Zip Code or County, and realign them to a common unit so they can be better compared and used. Jagadish will develop four general techniques for aligning data partitions and apply them to existing datasets in one state in the U.S. so that they can be viewed according to different geographical units. Jagadish will also produce an interface so that policy analysts and NGOs can easily access and query these data, and collect feedback to improve the approach.
1 - 10 Next

 Apply For A Grant

 Grand Challenges Explorations

 Map of Grants

 E-mail Updates