Professor Kirill Alexandrov has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Prof. Alexandrov will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Repurposing glucose monitoring technology for DNA detection”
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. Professor Alexandrov’s project is one of more than 40 Grand Challenges Explorations grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
To receive funding, Professor Alexandrov and other Grand Challenges Explorations winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas.
Professor Alexandrov will redesign the technology behind blood glucose monitors to develop a cheap, portable biosensor for infectious agents: “We expect that our biosensor will detect viral and bacterial DNA present in human blood or saliva rapidly, allowing for an immediate diagnosis in the field,” he said. “The success of blood glucose sensors is due to their accuracy combined with simplicity of design and ease of manufacturing. “We will re-engineer this technology to incorporate these traits into a portable biosensor platform that can be affordably manufactured and easily used.”
Infectious diseases infect billions of people each year, mostly in developing countries, but the majority can only be definitively diagnosed through time-consuming and costly laboratory tests.
About Grand Challenges Explorations Grand Challenges:
Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.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.
Launched in 2008, over 1186 projects in more than 61 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.