Key Initiatives

Grand Challenges in Global Health

The Grand Challenges in Global Health (GCGH) initiative is a major research effort to achieve scientific breakthroughs against diseases that kill millions of people each year in the world’s poorest countries. The goal of the initiative is to create “deliverable technologies” – health tools that are not only effective, but also inexpensive to produce, easy to distribute and simple to use in developing countries.

GCGH was launched in 2003 with a $200 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the FNIH. Together with additional partners, the Wellcome Trust and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the initiative awarded 43 grants totaling $436.6 million in 2005. Under GCGH support, scientists in 33 countries are working to solve 14 Grand Challenges ranging from improving the nutritional value of crops to curing chronic infectious diseases.

FNIH Global Health Investigators

The FNIH organized the initial processes for solicitation and selection of projects, and since 2005 has directly managed 20 GCGH research grants, operating in more than 25 countries, which aim to:

  • Develop improved childhood vaccines that do not require refrigeration, needles, or multiple doses, in order to improve immunization rates in developing countries
  • Develop new vaccines, including vaccines to prevent malaria and HIV/AIDS
  • Develop new ways of preventing insects from transmitting diseases such as malaria and dengue fever
  • Discover ways to prevent drug resistance because many drugs are losing their effectiveness
  • Discover methods to treat latent and chronic infections such as hepatitis and AIDS

In 2009, the FNIH received a 5-year, $24 million, grant to extend certain aspects of research initiated under the original GCGH initiative. The “Vector-based Control of Transmission: Discovery Research (VCTR)” program will continue to support the development of genetic and chemical strategies to deplete or incapacitate disease-transmitting mosquito populations.