Navigation Links
UConn receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for research in global health and development
Date:11/13/2012

Storrs, Conn. The University of Connecticut announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Professors Leslie M. Shor (Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering) and Daniel J. Gage (Molecular & Cell Biology) will pursue an innovative global health and development research project intended to increase crop yields in developing countries through the expanded use of beneficial bacteria.

"It's an honor to have our project chosen by the Gates Foundation," says Shor, an assistant professor affiliated with UConn's Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering. "But the most exciting part is knowing that our work could make a difference in the world. That's why I became an engineer in the first place."

"I am excited about the opportunity the Gates Grand Challenges Explorations grant gives us," says Gage, an associate professor in UConn's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "It will let us see if what we have learned when doing very fundamental microbiology and plant research can lead to new and practical tools for farmers around the world."

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.

Shor's and Gage's project, entitled "Structuring the Rhizosphere: Using Protozoa to Sow Bacteria," is one of over 80 Grand Challenges Explorations grants recently announced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"Investments in innovative global health research are already paying off," says 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."

To receive funding, Shor and Gage demonstrated in a two-page online application a creative idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas that included agriculture development, immunization and communications.

The UConn research team will use the GCE funds to explore new ways to distribute beneficial bacteria in soils to improve the health of food crops. Gage is an expert on the microenvironment of the rhizosphere - that narrow region of the soil around a plant's roots that is critical to capturing nutrients and suppressing disease. Beneficial bacteria found in the rhizosphere inhibit pathogens, produce antibiotics, help plants absorb soil nutrients, and moderate ambient soil moisture. Protozoa are also found in the rhizosphere. Shor specializes in artificial microbial habitats and the migration of protozoa in confined environments.

Focusing on bean and wheat plants, Shor and Gage will investigate the potential for using natural protozoa in the rhizosphere to better distribute beneficial bacteria among the roots of growing crops. The bacteria would be delivered into the soil on seed coatings and then dispersed by protozoa in the microenvironment. Conventional biocontrol technologies often fail to deliver enough functioning bacteria within the rhizosphere to stave off fungal and bacterial attacks that can limit crop yields. Ultimately, better distribution of these "good" bacteria could improve crop productivity for farmers in developing countries.


'/>"/>
Contact: Colin Poitras, UConn Media Relations
colin.poitras@uconn.edu
001-860-486-4656
University of Connecticut
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. UConn researchers discover that red tide species is deadlier than first thought
2. Baylor University scientist receives major grants for health research on 1991 Gulf War veterans
3. Carnegie Institution for Science receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant
4. BRI receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant
5. Feinstein Institute receives $1 million grant to study impact of World Trade Center attacks on responders
6. Emory receives $20 million NSF grant for chemistry center
7. Pitt biologist receives $2 million to study genetic diversity of plants worldwide
8. Pioneering researcher receives Heart Association Lifetime Achievement Award
9. Wayne State receives $2.8 million grant from US Administration for Children and Families
10. UCLA Receives $46 Thousand Check for Groundbreaking Research on Debilitating Pregnancy Disease
11. Einstein researcher receives $10.8 million grant to study toxic blood reactions caused by hemoglobin
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
UConn receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for research in global health and development
(Date:4/6/2017)... April 6, 2017 Forecasts by ... Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, Government & ... Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), Industrial, Retail, ... Are you looking for a definitive report ... ...
(Date:4/3/2017)... 3, 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, ... detected a statistically significant association between the ... treatment and objective response of cancer patients ... predict whether cancer patients will respond to ... well as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing ...
(Date:3/28/2017)... , March 28, 2017 The ... Hardware (Camera, Monitors, Servers, Storage Devices), Software (Video Analytics, ... Region - Global Forecast to 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, ... 2016 and is projected to reach USD 75.64 Billion ... and 2022. The base year considered for the study ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... 10, 2017 , ... San Diego-based team building and cooking events company, Lajollacooks4u, ... The bold new look is part of a transformation to increase awareness, appeal ... growth period. , It will also expand its service offering from its signature gourmet ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... CRUZ, Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017 ... grant from the NIH to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), ... kit for profiling small RNAs (including microRNAs) from single ... Analysis Program highlights the need to accelerate development of ... "New techniques for measuring ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... , ... October 09, 2017 , ... At its national ... Christopher Stubbs, a professor in Harvard University’s Departments of Physics and Astronomy, has been ... a member of the winning team for the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental physics ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... 6, 2017  The 2017 Nobel Prize in ... Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and ... cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have helped to broaden ... biology community. The winners worked with systems manufactured ... produce highly resolved, three-dimensional images of protein structures ...
Breaking Biology Technology: