October 24, 2008
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded 100,000 dollars each
on Wednesday to scientists in 22 countries including funding for a
Japanese proposal to turn mosquitoes into
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded
100,000 dollars each on Wednesday to scientists in 22 countries
including funding for a Japanese proposal to turn mosquitoes into
“flying syringes” delivering vaccines.
The charitable foundation created by the founder of software giant
Microsoft said in a statement that the grants were designed to,
“explore bold and largely unproven ways to improve global health.”
The grants were awarded for research into preventing or curing
infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and limiting
the emergence of drug resistance.
They are the first round of funding for the Gates Foundation’s,
“Grand Challenges Explorations,” a five-year 100-million-dollar
initiative to “promote innovative ideas in global health.”
The funding was directed to projects that,
“fall outside current
scientific paradigms and could lead to significant advances if
successful,” the Gates Foundation statement said.
“We were hoping this program would level the playing field so anyone
with a transformational idea could more quickly assess its potential
for the benefit of global health,” said Tachi Yamada, president of
global health at the Gates Foundation.
The Gates Foundation said 104 grants were awarded from nearly 4,000
The recipients included universities, nonprofit
organizations, government agencies, and six private companies.
“It was so hard for reviewers to champion just one great idea that
we selected almost twice as many projects for funding as we had
initially planned,” Yamada said.
Among the proposals receiving funding was one from
at Jichi Medical University in Japan.
“(Matsuoka) thinks it may be possible to turn mosquitoes that
normally transmit disease into ‘flying syringes,’ so that when they
bite humans they deliver
vaccines,” the Gates Foundation said.
It said Pattamaporn Kittayapong at
Mahidol University in Thailand
received a grant to,
“explore new approaches for controlling dengue
fever by studying bacteria with natural abilities to limit the
Founded in 1994, the Seattle, Washington-based Gates Foundation is
the largest private philanthropical organization in the world.