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Illinois receives Grand Challenges Explorations grants
Date:11/20/2013

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The University of Illinois is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Daniel L. Rock, a professor of pathobiology, and Mark S. Kuhlenschmidt, a professor and the interim head of pathobiology, will pursue innovative global health and development research projects.

Grand Challenges Explorations funds people worldwide to explore ideas that can solve persistent global health and development challenges. The projects Rock and Kuhlenschmidt are pursuing are two of more than 80 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11 grants announced by the foundation.

Rock's project focuses on the development of a single one-dose vaccine to prevent sheep pox, goat pox, peste des petits ruminants (a disease afflicting goats and sheep) and Rift valley fever (a livestock disease that can be passed to humans) for an extended period of time. This novel approach would provide long-term disease control for the animal population with a single vaccination.

Farmers must currently administer single vaccines for each disease every year, a cost that Rock says is unaffordable for many in developing nations.

"We've made tremendous strides in the fields of vaccinology, molecular virology and immunology, and I think this is a good opportunity to actually apply this knowledge to solve pressing disease problems," Rock said. "These vaccines will protect animals whose owners who cannot afford conventional vaccines yet whose lives depend upon their animals' survival, health and productivity."

Rock will work on the vaccine
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Contact: Chelsey B. Coombs
diya@illinois.edu
217-333-5802
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert  

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