MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass (Nov. 14, 2017) - Tufts University announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Charlie Mace, assistant professor of chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, will pursue research that could potentially revolutionize the way blood samples are analyzed and stored in the field.
Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) supports innovative thinkers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Mace's project is one of 51 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 19 grants that were announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
To receive funding, Mace and other Grand Challenges Explorations winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of four critical global heath and development topic areas. The foundation will be accepting applications for the next GCE round in February 2018.
Mace will develop devices that will improve the collection, storage and transport of blood samples for clinical analysis in field settings. Dried blood spot cards have been used in this capacity for over a century for a number of applications, including screening for metabolic disorders. However, the minimalistic design of these cards limits their ability to only storing blood. To address this problem, the Mace Lab will pattern cards with channels and reagents, making the cards an active component of blood analysis. These new devices will enhance sample reliability, required for quantitative applications in disease surveillance and diagnostics.
About Grand Challenges Explorations
Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Launched in 2008, over 1365 projects in more than 65 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. 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.
About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.