Cincinnati Children’s Receives Grand Challenges Explorations Funding

Monday, November 07, 2011

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will receive funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that enables researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent health and development challenges.

Cincinnati Children’s will pursue a research project using mice to model changes seen in the small intestines of children in poor countries who are undernourished and lack access to clean water and safe hygiene.

“There is a huge concern that these small intestine changes may explain the reduced efficacy or oral vaccines against rotavirus or polio in the developing world,” says Sean Moore, MD, a physician in the division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Cincinnati Children’s and principal investigator of the project. “We will use a mouse diet that is deficient in protein and fat and will give young mice drinking water that is contaminated with LPS, a bacterial endotoxin. We will then test how well these mice respond to oral vaccination with the rotavirus vaccine that was developed and tested here at Cincinnati Children’s.”

Grand Challenges Explorations funds scientists and researchers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. The Cincinnati Children’s project is one of 110 Grand Challenges Explorations grants announced today.

“We believe in the power of innovation—that a single bold idea can pioneer solutions to our greatest health and development challenges,” said Chris Wilson, Director of Global Health Discovery for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Grand Challenges Explorations seeks to identify and fund these new ideas wherever they come from, allowing scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs to pursue the kinds of creative ideas and novel approaches that could help to accelerate the end of polio, cure HIV infection or improve sanitation.”

Projects that are receiving funding show promise in tackling priority global health issues where solutions do not yet exist. This includes finding effective methods to eliminate or control infectious diseases such as polio and HIV as well as discovering new sanitation technologies.
To learn more about Grand Challenges Explorations, visit www.grandchallenges.org

About Grand Challenges Explorations
Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Launched in 2008, Grand Challenge Explorations grants have already been awarded to nearly 500 researchers from over 40 countries. The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization. The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short, two-page online applications and no preliminary data required. Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have an opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.

About Cincinnati Children’s
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ranks third in the nation among all Honor Roll hospitals in U.S. News and World Report's 2011 Best Children's Hospitals ranking. It is ranked #1 for gastroenterology and in the top 10 for all pediatric specialties - a distinction shared by only two other pediatric hospitals in the United States. Cincinnati Children's is one of the top two recipients of pediatric research grants from the National Institutes of Health. It is internationally recognized for improving child health and transforming delivery of care through fully integrated, globally recognized research, education and innovation. Additional information can be found at www.cincinnatichildrens.org

Contact Information

Jim Feuer, 513-636-4656, jim.feuer@cchmc.org