Radiologist Receives $100,000 Grant for Groundbreaking Research in Global Health & Development

April 28, 2011

Michael Carrese
Marketing and Communications

Fletcher Allen/UVM Radiologist, co-Founder, Receives Grant Imaging the World Receives US$100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for Groundbreaking Research in Global Health and Development

, VT/SEATTLE, WA – Imaging the World announced today that it is a
Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Co-Founders of Imaging the World, Kristen DeStigter, M.D. Vice Chair of Radiology at the University of Vermont/Fletcher Allen Health Care and Associate Professor, Radiology, UVM College of Medicine, and Brian Garra, M.D. Associate Director, Division of Imaging and Applied Mathematics/OSEL, US Food and Drug Administration and Chief of Imaging Systems & Research in Radiology at the Washington DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Low-Cost Sustainable Solution for Rural Ultrasound.”

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds scientists and researchers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges.  Dr. DeStigter and Dr. Garra’s project is one of over 85 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 6 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

“GCE winners are expanding the pipeline of ideas for serious global health and development challenges where creative thinking is most urgently needed.  These grants are meant to spur on new discoveries that could ultimately save millions of lives,” said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

To receive funding, Drs. DeStigter and Garra and other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 6 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas: polio eradication, HIV, sanitation and family health technologies, and mobile health.  Applications for the current open round, Grand Challenges Explorations Round 7, will be accepted through May 19, 2011. 

Dr. DeStigter and Dr. Garra, along with the ITW team, are developing a low-cost scalable solution based in technology, education and community outreach to bring ultrasound diagnoses to pregnant women in areas of high maternal/neonatal mortality. By giving advance warning of critical maternal conditions, this model will improve maternal/fetal morbidity and mortality on a grand scale.

About Grand Challenges Explorations

Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Launched in 2008, Grand Challenge Explorations grants have already been awarded to nearly 500 researchers from over 40 countries.  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 $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 Imaging the World

Imaging the World (ITW) is changing global medicine through a revolutionary new concept integrating technology, volunteers and education to bring medical expertise and high quality health care to remote and under-served areas worldwide. Using a newly designed training process, local health providers learn to capture high-quality ultrasound scans that are transmitted via the web to medical volunteers around the world. Within hours potentially lifesaving diagnoses are returned, offering never before available options for treatment. ITW’s integrated educational platform is essential in combating maternal health, trauma triage and many of the critical issues facing all remote areas of the world. ITW’s low cost, sustainable and scalable imaging model is possible anywhere cell phone signals are available.

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