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Roslin Institute Receives Grant

The Roslin Institute Receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant For Ground-breaking Research in Global Health and Development.

The Roslin Institute announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr Liam Morrison and Professor Ivan Morrison will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Exploiting a novel bovine antibody subset as a trypanocide”.

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mould in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. The Roslin Institute project is one of over 50 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 12 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To receive funding, The Roslin Institute team and other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 12 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas that included agriculture development, behaviour change and looking into animal and human health. Applications for the next Round will be accepted starting September 2014.

Liam Morrison and Ivan Morrison are investigating new prospects for combating parasites called African trypanosomes, which cause life-threatening disease in both animals and humans in sub-Saharan Africa.

Currently there are very limited prospects for new drugs or vaccines and new approaches to controlling these parasites are required urgently.

This Grand Challenges Explorations project aims to develop therapies based on a unique type of cow antibody, the shape of which means they can potentially target specific areas of the trypanosome’s surface that are inaccessible to other antibodies, therefore offering the prospect of exploiting these antibodies by vaccination or using them as therapeutic agents.

About Grand Challenges Explorations

Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Launched in 2008, over 950 people in more than 55 countries have received Grand Challenges Explorations grants. 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 US$100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.