Bioscientists fight against parasite that causes diarrhoea in young children



Bioscientists at Kent are to take up the fight against the parasite that causes diarrhoea in young children with funding from Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Dr Anastasios Tsaousis along with Professor Martin Michaelis and Dr Mark Wass from the School of Biosciences will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Cryptosporidium culturing and drug-screening”.

Their grant is one of only six awarded in Europe in the current round of Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) that support innovative thinkers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mould in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Dr Anastasios Tsaousis’ grant was announced on 15 November by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To receive funding, Dr Tsaousis of the School of Biosciences, and other Grand Challenges Explorations winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of six critical global heath and development topic areas. The foundation will be accepting applications for the next GCE round in February 2017.

There is currently no treatment for Cryptosporidium infections. Recently, the team at the School of Biosciences has established the first long-term cultivation system for Cryptosporidium at a laboratory scale. Based on this newly developed system, the Gates Foundation provides funding for the identification of drugs that effectively inhibit Cryptosporidium infection and disease.