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. Dr. Yu’s project is one of 9 Grand Challenges Explorations Phase II grants announced Monday.
“Grand Challenges Explorations aims to tackle critical health and development challenges by funding creative, high-risk concepts that show the greatest potential for impact,” said Chris Wilson, Director of Global Health Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “With this additional phase of funding, we’re excited to move the most promising projects closer to products that could ultimately save millions of lives.”
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 address diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis.
Dr. Yu’s research centers on understanding how the HIV virus, which is responsible for AIDS, is able to “hijack” an important immune system protein in order to protect itself from immune attack. The goal is to develop compounds that would either render the HIV-host protein interaction ineffective or prevent HIV from incorporating the protein, resulting in new and more effective treatments against HIV.
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 $1 million.