Ann Arbor, Mich. - The University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital announced today that it has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant will support an innovative global health research project - the "Innovation Bridge" - led by Matthew M. Davis, M.D., M.A.P.P., associate professor of general pediatrics and internal medicine at the U-M Medical School, and associate professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Davis' project is one of 104 grants announced by the Gates Foundation for the first funding round of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to help scientists around the world explore bold, new solutions for health challenges in developing countries. The grants were provided to all levels of scientists in 22 countries and five continents.
To receive funding, Davis showed in a two-page application how his idea falls outside current scientific paradigms and could lead to significant advances in global health if successful.
"Thousands of children in developing nations around the world die every day from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines," says Davis. "The goal of this project is to help new vaccine ideas become available for children more quickly."
Davis will work with other U-M experts in vaccines and economics on the project. They will help link biotech companies and researchers in the industrialized world with vaccine manufacturers in developing countries, to facilitate the transfer of new vaccine technologies. "The key to this project," adds Davis, "is the generation of novel ideas about financing the transfer of ideas from one phase and place of vaccine development to another."
Davis and his team will concentrate on the vaccine priorities of the Gates Foundation, including vaccines against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, diarrheal diseases, and pneumonia.
"I congratulate each individual who took the initiative to share their idea with us to help fight the world's most serious diseases," said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program. "The number of creative approaches we received exceeded our highest aspirations. Projects from this initial pool of grants have the potential to transform health in developing countries, and I will be rooting for their success."
About Grand Challenges Explorations
Grand Challenges Explorations is a five-year $100 million initiative of the Gates Foundation to promote innovation in global health. The program uses an agile, streamlined grant process - applications are limited to two pages, and preliminary data are not required. Proposals are reviewed and selected by a committee of foundation staff and external experts, and grant decisions are made within approximately three months of the close of the funding round.