Grand Challenges in Global Health (GCGH) was launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2003 as a collaboration with the FNIH—and later also with the Wellcome Trust and the Canadian Institute of Health Research—as a major initiative focused on achieving scientific breakthroughs against diseases that kill millions of people each year in the world’s poorest countries. The goal of GCGH was to use scientific and technological innovations to create new health tools that are effective, inexpensive to produce, easy to distribute, and simple to use in developing countries. From 2005 to 2015, the FNIH managed 20 projects and operated in 25 countries with a focus on:
- Improving existing vaccines so that they do not require refrigeration or needle injection
- Discovering new vaccines by designing antigens for optimal protective immunity and determining which immunologic responses are protective
- Developing biological, genetic or chemical strategies to use insects like mosquitos to control the transmission of diseases like malaria and dengue
- Developing pharmaceuticals and delivery systems that minimize likelihood of resistance
- Creating immunological methods to cure chronic infections
Several of these projects have resulted in discoveries that continue to be developed under other funding sources.