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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Funds Bold Ideas Including Empty Virus Shells to Improve Polio Immunity, Dirt-Charged Cell Phones, and Fertilizer Pellets that Reduce Healt...

Thu, 04/28/2011 - 9:35am
Bio-Medicine.Org

SEATTLE, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced 88 new winners of US$100,000 each to support innovative research that has the potential to dramatically improve lives in some of the world's poorest countries. The funding, made possible through the Grand Challenges Exploration (GCE) program, will enable researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent health and development challenges.

"One bold idea is all it takes to catalyze new approaches to global health and development," said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  "Despite the progress in global health and development, we vitally need creative ideas to discover and deliver life-saving vaccines, eradicate the next disease or slow the spread of preventable diseases," he continued.

GCE asked researchers to tackle problems such as speeding progress toward assuring polio eradication; leveraging cell phones for global health solutions to improve access to life-saving vaccines; using new technologies to improve maternal and newborn health; finding ways to eliminate all reservoirs of HIV from a patient; and, creating next generation sanitation technologies to help reduce the burden of diarrheal disease.

"GCE winners are expanding the pipeline of ideas to address serious global health and development challenges where creative thinking is most urgently needed.  This effort is critical if we are to spur on new discoveries that ultimately could save millions more lives," said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  

Winners were selected from over 2,500 proposals and approximately 100 countries. They represent a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines, including health researchers, computer and electronic engineers, and entrepreneurs.  Research areas for Round 6 of GCE included:  

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