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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 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 11
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.
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 Zeolite Hydrogel 'Nano-Mop' For Contraception
Primary Investigator:
Benson Wamalwa, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya - KE
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
Benson Wamalwa of the University of Nairobi in Kenya will develop and test a vaginal gel that contains zeolite nanoparticles which soak up the fructose present in semen. By “mopping” up the fructose, this gel will rob sperm of the energy needed for motility. If successful, the gel could be used as an inexpensive, non-hormonal contraceptive.
Biologic Contraceptive
Primary Investigator:
Rachel Teitelbaum, Hervana, Ltd, Beit Shemesh, Israel - IL
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
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.
Contraception Based on Inhibition of the Sperm Receptor
Primary Investigator:
Erick Wolf, Innolytics, LLC, Rancho Santa Fe, CA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
Erick Wolf of Innolytics, LLC in the U.S. will test a modified version of a drug currently approved as an anti-protozoal and contraceptive for avians for its ability to alter sperm receptor proteins in mammals. If successful, this drug might be used as an oral, non-hormonal and reversible contraceptive.
Discovery of Chemosensory Molecules as Novel Contraceptives
Primary Investigator:
John Ngai, University of California, Berkeley, CA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
John Ngai and Scott Laughlin of the University of California, Berkeley in the U.S. seek to identify chemical compounds in the female reproductive system that guide sperm cells to the egg. By characterizing these “odorants,” synthetic versions can be produced and administered to disrupt this navigation system thus inhibiting fertilization.
Long Lasting Male Contraceptive Pill Development
Primary Investigator:
Michael Skinner, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
Michael Skinner of Washington State University in the U.S. will optimize and test a compound that has been shown to impair the functioning of the Sertoli cell, which enables the production and maturation of sperm. Understanding this compound could lead to the development of a reversible, long-lasting male contraceptive pill.
Polymersome-based Novel Spermicide/Therapeutic Delivery
Primary Investigator:
Gautam Pangu, Vindico NanoBioTechnology Inc, Lexington, KY, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
Gautam Pangu of Vindico NanoBioTechnology Inc. in the U.S. seeks to develop a vaginal gel that uses nano-sacs called polymersomes, which can control the delivery of spermicides as a contraceptive and other sexually transmitted agents. Peter Ghoroghchian will direct project development and will guide the transition to eventual clinical testing.
Triggered Release Microcapsules for Barrier Contraception
Primary Investigator:
William Phillips, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
William Phillips, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will test the feasibility of developing a vaginal tablet containing adhesive microcapsules that would adhere to the vaginal wall and release spermicidal agents upon contact with semen as a method for contraception.
Ultrasound as a Long-Term, Reversible Male Contraceptive
Primary Investigator:
James Tsuruta, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 4 – May 2010
Phase:
Phase I
James Tsuruta and Paul Dayton of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill will study the ability of therapeutic ultrasound to deplete testicular sperm counts. Characterizing the most beneficial timing and dosage could lead to the development of a low-cost, non-hormonal and reversible method of contraception for men.
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