2012 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant

From JHU’s press release:

David Sullivan, MD, an associate professor with the Bloomberg School’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology has won a Grand Challenges Explorations grant to pursue innovative global health and development research project. The Grand Challenges initiative is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide who are taking innovative approaches to some of the world’s toughest and persistent global health and development challenges.  GCE  invests in the early stages of bold ideas that have real potential to solve the problems people in the developing world face every day. “Investments in innovative global health research are already paying off,” said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery and Translational Sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “We continue to be impressed by the novelty and innovative spirit of Grand Challenges Explorations projects and are enthusiastic about this exciting research. These investments hold real potential to yield new solutions to improve the health of millions of people in the developing world, and ensure that everyone has the chance to live a healthy productive life.”

Dr. Sullivan, along with Martin N. Martinov of Gradient Biomodeling LLC, will create a quantum physics computer model of liver-stage malaria parasite infection to screen existing commercial drug and compound databases to identify molecules that possess liver-stage-specific, anti-malarial activity. Those molecules will then be tested in vivo and in vitro, and the ones that are effective will be optimized via computer modeling for future pre-clinical development.