[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

AFRO-NETS> Grand Challenges in Global Health

  • Subject: AFRO-NETS> Grand Challenges in Global Health
  • From: Leela McCullough <leela@healthnet.org>
  • Date: Mon, 9 Jun 2003 13:00:32 -0400 (EDT)

Grand Challenges in Global Health

Dear AFRO-NETS subscribers,

Here is a chance for the African AFRO-NETS members to have a voice in
identifying these Grand Challenges. For those who may not have Web
access to visit the site, I have included the Definition and Scope
sections of the Grand Challenge (in text form) below this message,
but subscribers can get more information via fax too.

Many thanks and best regards,

Dr. Leela McCullough
Director of Information Services
30 California Street, Watertown, MA 02472, USA
Tel: +1-617-926-9400
Fax: +1-617-926-1212

We would very much like to receive recommendations for Grand Chal-
lenges in Global Health from the African health research community,
and are looking for ways to get the word out to them.

Please distribute this e-mail and its information widely and note
that we would like to get submissions before June 15.

Thank you for your interest in this important initiative.

The following letter was initially distributed May 2.

Date: May 2, 2003
From: "Harold Varmus@Grandchallengesgh.org"

Subject: A Call for Ideas for Grand Challenges in Global Health

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

We are seeking ideas. Specifically, we seek the help of the interna-
tional health research community in identifying the greatest scien-
tific and technological challenges in global health-the principal
current challenges standing in the way of major progress. The Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation has committed US$ 200 million to establish
the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative as a major new ef-
fort in partnership with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and
the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). Our aim
is to identify 10 to 15 critical scientific and/or technical chal-
lenges, which, if solved, could lead to important advances against
diseases and improve health in the developing world.

This Call for Ideas is a call for your recommendations, and is the
first step in a novel two-phase approach. Between now and June 15, we
are asking health researchers around the world to submit their ideas
on what they consider to be the scientific Grand Challenges in Global
Health at this time. The Scientific Board that I chair will then re-
view the submissions and select the 10 to 15 most compelling chal-
lenges as official Grand Challenges for the initiative. These Grand
Challenges will be announced this fall, and solicitations for re-
search grant proposals to address them will follow.

Our Web site, http://www.grandchallengesgh.org, provides a working
definition of what we mean by "grand challenges," details on the Call
for Ideas, instructions for submitting recommendations, an electronic
submission form and a list of the Scientific Board members. Research-
ers who do not have access to the Web may send an e-mail message to
<info@grandchallengesgh.org>, specifying whether they can receive a
PDF file or want the information faxed to a specific number.

Submission of ideas through the Web site is preferred, but those un-
able to use this form of submission may e-mail their responses to
<callforideas@grandchallengesgh.org> or fax them to +1-301-480-2752.
Please read the Call for Ideas material carefully and follow the rec-
ommended format for submission.

We welcome your interest in this significant new initiative, and en-
courage you to distribute this e-mail to other research colleagues
around the world who may have ideas to contribute.

Responses are due by June 15, 2003.


Harold E. Varmus, M.D.
Scientific Board
Grand Challenges in Global Health

Helen Burnett
Grand Challenges in Global Health
Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
1 Cloister Court, Suite 152
Bethesda, MD 20814, USA
Tel.: +1-310-402-4970


What is a Grand Challenge?

A Grand Challenge is a call for a specific scientific or technologi-
cal innovation that would remove a critical barrier to solving an im-
portant health problem in the developing world with a high likelihood
of global impact and feasibility. A Grand Challenge is neither the
statement of the global health problem itself (e.g., malaria or AIDS)
nor the request for a specific health intervention (e.g., a drug or
vaccine), but the call for a discrete scientific or technological in-
novation which will break through the roadblock that stands between
where we are now and where we would like to be in science, medicine,
and public health.

For example, a Grand Challenge could be the discovery or creation of:
* A novel way to neutralize HIV that may be the critical limiting
step in developing a preventive vaccine;
* An innovative technology that provided a fundamentally distinct
platform to achieve point-of-care, accurate and affordable diagnos-
* A viable method to alter mosquito behavior, control mosquito popu-
lations or make mosquitoes inhospitable to disease organisms;
* A definitive way to stabilize antigens to heat to avoid the "cold
chain" for vaccines.


What is the scope of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initia-
tive? The Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative will address
the diseases and health conditions that cause the greatest morbidity
and mortality in the developing world, thus accounting for the enor-
mous health disparities between the developing and the developed
world, and that receive disproportionately less attention from the
scientific and technical community than their consequences demand.
The scope of the ultimate goals of the Grand Challenges in Global
Health initiative is broad, encompassing prevention, detection, diag-
nosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and surveillance and control of
diseases. The wide range of possible disciplines to be employed in-
cludes, but is not limited to, immunology and microbiology, genetics,
molecular and cellular biology, entomology, agricultural sciences,
clinical sciences, epidemiology, population and behavioral sciences,
ecology and evolutionary biology. Any scientific approach that has
the potential to address a Grand Challenge in a novel and potentially
powerful way might be supported by the initiative.

© 2003, Grand Challenges in Global Health, All Rights Reserved.
To send a message to AFRO-NETS, write to: afro-nets@healthnet.org
To subscribe or unsubscribe, write to: majordomo@healthnet.org
in the body of the message type: subscribe afro-nets OR unsubscribe afro-nets
To contact a person, send a message to: afro-nets-help@healthnet.org
Information and archives: http://www.afronets.org