Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11
Over the last century, both human and veterinary medicine have made great advancements. In spite of the many overlaps between the two disciplines, they have become distinctly separate with very little cross-sharing of the knowledge. If the artificial barrier that separates the fields of human and animal health could be broken down, many opportunities would emerge across the discovery-development-delivery spectrum for knowledge and practices in one field to accelerate progress in the other. For example, advances in drug and vaccine discoveries for human diseases can provide tools and approaches for animal diseases that still plague developing countries. Similarly, accumulated knowledge in veterinary medicine and animal nutrition and husbandry could provide insights into human nutrition and growth. This notion has been variously termed as "One Health" or "One Medicine." There is an opportunity to bring these divergent fields together under this One Health concept to address many difficult problems of the developing world.
We seek applications that apply the existing knowledge/tools/approaches from animal health to solve problems in human health, and vice versa.
What We Are Looking For:
Novel and innovative ideas within the concept of One Health to address the issues in the following areas, ranging from early discovery concepts to delivery of solutions to measurement of impact:
Specific human and livestock diseases, as listed below;
Health service delivery;
Measurement of impact.
To be considered all proposals must either draw ideas from animal health to address human health or vice versa.
Areas can range from proposals exploiting "natural animal models" to better understand human diseases, vaccine and drug research, diagnostics, testing novel treatment or prevention strategies, epidemiology, understanding vaccine responses for these specific diseases and examining altered gut/intestinal function (e.g. environmental enteropathy) and microbiome dysfunction.
Zoonotic diseases: New ideas and approaches to diagnose, control or treat the following zoonotic diseases at the human-animal interface: tuberculosis, brucellosis, Rift Valley Fever, Trypanosomiasis, rabies and porcine cysticercosis.
Improving maternal and child nutrition through knowledge from veterinary science and animal husbandry. Ideas around novel/under-recognized nutrients or knowledge that is proven in animal nutrition area to address intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), stunting and wasting in humans will be considered. Proposals should address key research gaps in human nutrition or novel ways to change behavior to increase access of nutrients in these key populations. Applications proposing feeding programs will not be considered.
3. Health Service Delivery:
Combined service delivery (vaccinations, drugs, diagnostics, and other products) for human and animal health that can leverage existing health service delivery infrastructure in resource-poor settings. Examples of what we’re looking for include combined vaccination campaigns for human and animal diseases.
4. Combined Metrics for Measuring Impact:
In Global Health, we have routinely used DALYs (Disability adjusted life years) as a common metric. In agriculture and animal husbandry space, productivity is commonly used. However, we lack a combined metric which captures both of these impacts since they are closely linked. For example, improving agricultural productivity can lead to improved nutrition leading to increased DALYs. This could include a financial impact on society. We are seeking ideas for combining human and animal health under one metric that captures the broader impact.
We will not consider funding for:
- Ideas that do not draw from the human field to benefit animal health problems and/or vice versa;
- Traditional laboratory animal model studies as a precursor to human studies, without application to livestock health;
- Basic research (such as in vitro systems) without a clear relevance to the goals of this topic;
- Disease areas that are not listed above;
- Zoonotic diseases, with the exception of tuberculosis, brucellosis, Rift Valley Fever, Trypanosomiasis, rabies, porcine cysticercosis, and cryptosporidiosis;
- Ideas that are not directly relevant to developing countries;
- Feeding programs;
- Microfinance programs;
- Adaptation of existing epidemiological models or tools;
- Ideas for which a relevant indicator of success cannot be demonstrated within the scope of the GCE Phase 1 award ($100k);
- Ideas without a clearly articulated and testable hypothesis and metrics;
- Solely infrastructure or capacity-building initiatives.
We highly encourage applicants to consider the following criteria in their proposals:
- People: Solutions for problems faced by poor people, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia;
- Collaboration: Ideas that combine both animal and human health approaches or take approaches from one and apply to the other to create a transformative solution;
- Knowledge: Increases knowledge/understanding on interdependencies between the foundation’s priority areas (e.g. Human Health, Animal Health, Environmental Health, Nutrition, and Sustainability).
A proposal does not have to demonstrate strength in all three of the criteria categories in order to be considered.
Read more about this topic on the Impatient Optimists Blog: ‘One Health’ – Human and Animal Health, Together Again