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 November 4, 2014, 61 researchers were awarded new Grand Challenges Explorations grants. View a blog on these here, and read more about these by selecting Round 13 and Phase I in the drop down menus below.

In addition, 11 Grand Challenges 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 61
A Pediatric Immune Enteroid Model of Gut Enteropathy
Primary Investigator:
Marcela Pasetti, University of Maryland, Center for Vaccine Development, Baltimore, MD, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 13 – November 2014
Phase:
Phase I
Marcela Pasetti of the University of Maryland in the U.S. will generate an in vitro model of the gut using intestinal stem cells and immune cells to better mimic the damaged and inflamed guts of young children in developing countries for testing new treatments. Current so-called human enteroid models lack additional relevant cell types found in the intestine, particularly immune cells, which are known to play an important role in gut health and function. They will expose their new miniature pediatric gut model to enteric pathogens and test the ability of human breast milk and bovine hyperimmune colostrum to repair the subsequent damage.
Agriculture Innovation Changing Health and Nutrition Behaviors
Primary Investigator:
Mary-Lynne Lasco, INMED Partnerships for Children, Ashburn, VA, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 13 – November 2014
Phase:
Phase I
Mary-Lynne Lasco of INMED Partnerships for Children in the U.S. will evaluate whether on-site sustainable food production and associated education in schools improves child health when combined with semi-annual deworming treatments and a new school feeding program in Peru. Many Peruvian children are malnourished, and soil-transmitted helminth infections are endemic and a significant cause of mortality. They will study two primary schools in Peru’s Ucayali region, one of which will receive an aquaponic system, comprising fish farming and growing plants without soil, to produce healthy food and to educate children, teachers and parents on the value of eating healthily. They will analyze the effect of aquaponics and integrated education on nutrition and helminth infection rates at the schools, as well as on the attitudes of parents and the community.
An EEG System to Measure Fetal Brain Development
Primary Investigator:
Yan Zhu, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing, China - CN
Topic:
Round:
Round 13 – November 2014
Phase:
Phase I
Yan Zhu of the University of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, in China will build a system based on electroencephalography to monitor the activity of the fetal brain in utero. Due to technical and practical limitations, current methods for measuring brain activity are limited to newborns. However, analyzing development of the fetal brain would reveal new insight into very early stages of neurodevelopment, and could lead to improved treatments for certain disorders. They will adapt electroencephalography, which measures electrical activity in the brain, to detect the weaker signals of the fetal brain via multiple electrodes on the mother’s abdomen, and build analysis software that can differentiate these signals from background noise. Once the prototype has been built, they will test it on humans to further refine the design.
Assessing HIV Risk to Create Demand for Male Circumcision
Primary Investigator:
Joseph Kagaayi, Rakai Health Sciences Program, Entebbe, Uganda - UG
Topic:
Round:
Round 13 – November 2014
Phase:
Phase I
Joseph Kagaayi of the Rakai Health Sciences Program in Uganda will test whether giving a personalized HIV risk index to Ugandan males will encourage them to undergo safe male circumcision to prevent HIV infection. The multi-item risk index for HIV was developed from the general population of Rakai in Uganda, and will be straightforward for HIV counselors and clinicians to use. He will incorporate the index into a randomized controlled trial involving men aged 15-49 years who are undergoing HIV testing, and evaluate its effect on circumcision rates after 6 months.
Behavioral Change and WASH are Essential for Control of NTD
Primary Investigator:
Zvi Bentwich, Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel - IL
Topic:
Round:
Round 13 – November 2014
Phase:
Phase I
Zvi Bentwich of Ben Gurion University in Israel will support mass drug eradication efforts against parasitic worm infections in Ethiopia by implementing in parallel a health education campaign run by local students and the provision of clean water and sanitation facilities. They will test their approach on a region in Ethiopia containing 30 schools, which is connected to a wider population of 200,000. Families will be treated with anti-parasitic drugs, and they will mentor local students to provide health education explaining the causes and symptoms of the diseases, and how to avoid contracting them. They will also provide water and latrines to schools. The effect of their approach on infection rates will be evaluated over an 18-month period.
BEMPU: The Newborn Temperature Monitoring Band
Primary Investigator:
Ratul Narain, BEMPU Technologies Private Ltd., Bengaluru, India - IN
Topic:
Round:
Round 13 – November 2014
Phase:
Phase I
Ratul Narain of BEMPU Technologies Private Ltd. in India will develop and test a temperature monitoring baby bracelet to reduce the incidence of hypothermia in newborns. Newborns are unable to regulate their body temperature, and low temperatures can lead to life-debilitating illnesses. Skin-to-skin warming (kangaroo care) can maintain a healthy body temperature, but is not commonly practiced in resource-poor regions in India, where newborn hypothermia rates are high. To address this, they will further develop an inexpensive and simple bracelet to be worn by babies during the first two months of life that sounds an alarm when the baby’s temperature gets too low to prompt the parent to respond. Sensitivity and specificity will be optimized, and the bracelet evaluated in field trials.
Childhood Malnutrition and Enteric Infections
Primary Investigator:
Linda Saif, Ohio State University Research Foundation, Columbus, OH, United States - US
Topic:
Round:
Round 13 – November 2014
Phase:
Phase I
Linda Saif from Ohio State University in the U.S. will develop a pig model to recapitulate the vicious cycle of malnutrition and repeated enteric infections seen in young children in developing countries in order to study the underlying biology and identify effective treatments. Childhood malnutrition is rife in impoverished regions, and causes substantial mortality and disabilities. It impairs gut function and immunity, and leads to increased enteric infection rates. They will explore the relationship between malnutrition and enteric infections using piglet models of malnutrition and multiple pathogen-associated enteropathy, and analyze the effects on the cellular and microbial composition of the gut, and the immune response. They will also test whether specific diets and supplements such as tryptophan can restore healthy gut function.
Combating STH via Integrated Child Health Services, Honduras
Primary Investigator:
Romeo Montoya, Pan American Health Organization (OPS/OMS) Honduras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras - HN
Topic:
Round:
Round 13 – November 2014
Phase:
Phase I
Romeo Montoya of OPS/OMS Honduras in Honduras will test an integrated approach of deworming, education, vitamin A supplements, and improved water quality and sanitation to decrease the incidence and effects of intestinal parasites in school children in Honduras. Intestinal worms are highly prevalent in Honduras and a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. By integrating several treatment strategies together with national vaccination campaigns they hope to broaden coverage to the entire population and reduce costs.
Determining Gestational Age Using Genome Methylation Profile
Primary Investigator:
Yuval Gielchinsky, Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel - IL
Topic:
Round:
Round 13 – November 2014
Phase:
Phase I
Yuval Gielchinsky of Hadassah Medical Center in Israel will develop a non-invasive approach for determining gestational age by analyzing DNA methylation profiles in cells from umbilical cord blood. Accurate gestational age is critical for monitoring and promoting the healthy development of newborns. Current gestational age dating approaches require expensive equipment and trained users, or are relatively inaccurate. Previous work has linked gestational age with epigenetic states such as the patterns of methylation along DNA. They will use two different approaches to measure DNA methylation in 40 newborns, and test which one can most accurately determine gestational age.
Deworming Reproductive Age Women for Helminth Elimination
Primary Investigator:
Prasenjit Mondal, International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh - BD
Topic:
Round:
Round 13 – November 2014
Phase:
Phase I
Prasenjit Mondal of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh will test whether supplying deworming medication to women of reproductive age reduces the incidence of helminth infections and associated anemia. Current mass drug administration efforts to eradicate parasitic infections are fairly successful but focus predominantly on school children. The incidence of infection in women of fertility age remains high, which affects both maternal and child health. To reach this vulnerable population, they will exploit the infrastructure of a current government program, which provides folic acid tablets to pregnant women via Community Clinics, by also providing deworming medication and associated counseling. They will evaluate their approach by measuring its effect on helminth infection levels.
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