UB Receives $100,000 Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Ground-Breaking Research in Global Health and Development

Release Date: May 6, 2011

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Glenna Bett of UB will use her grant from the Gates Foundation to develop a device that could make childbirth safer worldwide.

BUFFALO, N.Y. The University at Buffalo announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Glenna Bett, PhD, assistant professor and vice chair for research in the UB Department of Gynecology-Obstetrics in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project to develop a device to treat postpartum hemorrhage.

Bett's co-principal investigator on the grant is Randall Rasmusson, PhD, associate professor in the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Department of Physiology and Biophysics.

The UB researchers will use the Grand Challenges Explorations grant to develop a postpartum hemorrhage treatment device suitable for use even when medical facilities are absent or minimal, and in non-sterile environments. If successful, such a device has the potential to reduce perinatal deaths worldwide.

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds scientists and researchers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Bett's project is one of over 85 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 6 grants announced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"GCE winners are expanding the pipeline of ideas for serious global health and development challenges where creative thinking is most urgently needed. These grants are meant to spur on new discoveries that could ultimately save millions of lives," said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To receive funding, Bett and other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 6 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application, a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas: polio eradication, HIV, sanitation and family health technologies, and mobile health. Applications for the current open round, Grand Challenges Explorations Round 7, will be accepted through May 19, 2011.

Grand Challenges Explorations is a $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 more than 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 the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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