Grand Challenges in Global Health recently sought letters of inquiry for the grant program Discover New Ways to Achieve Healthy Growth.
Grants were awarded in December 2012. Read more about these projects by clicking here.
The Healthy Growth program seeks to discover new pathways or mechanisms that will aid the development of new interventions to prevent intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), stunting, and wasting of newborns and infants in the developing world.
A growing body of evidence indicates that the first 1,000 days following conception is a critical window of time for growth and proper function of a wide range of organs and tissues. The developmental environment, which includes nutrients, hormonal signaling, and pathogen exposure has serious consequences for health in infancy, childhood, and later life.
While application of existing interventions is important, universal application during pregnancy and early life in 99 percent of children would only decrease stunting by only one third. Therefore new research is needed to address the underlying biological mechanisms that lead to these adverse developmental outcomes, including examination of the role of infection, inflammation, and nutritional deficiency.