The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced that twelve grantees have advanced to the next level of Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE), an initiative that enables researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent health and development challenges. The grantees will receive additional funding to continue Phase II of their research over a two-year period.
“Finding solutions to persistent global health problems is a difficult, lengthy and expensive process. GCE was designed to tap the innovators of the world by providing resources needed to explore bold ideas that are typically too risky to attract funding through other mechanisms,” said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We’re excited to enable further development of novel approaches that can prevent or lessen the burden of diseases that kill or disable millions of the world’s most vulnerable.”
Among projects receiving Phase II funding, Carmenza Spadafora of Panama’s IASI and Jose Stoute of Pennsylvania State University investigate whether malaria can be treated by microwave irradiation.
Grantees who receive Phase II funding will receive up to one million dollars of additional funding over a two-year period.
Fast Company reports: “Malaria drugs are expensive, and the disease is becoming resistant. But nothing can resist microwaves. A new advance might simply explode the parasite inside people’s bodies with a low dose of focused rays. Treatments for malaria, however, have never been a high priority for pharmaceutical companies, and multi-drug resistant malaria is becoming prevalent in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia, while even the most effective drug combinations are losing their punch. Researchers Carmenza Spadafora and Jose Stoute have now hit upon one treatment that no parasite has ever developed an immunity against, and may never be able to survive: microwaves.”
Read more, via Fast Company.
Sources: Fast Company, Gates Foundation