With a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, University of Wisconsin–Madison scientists Ophelia Venturelli and Brian Pfleger are working to further research on how to use human-associated intestinal microbes to combat malnutrition in developing countries.
Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) supports innovative thinkers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how scientists solve persistent global health and development challenges. Venturelli and Pfleger’s project is one of approximately 50 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 22 grants announced by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since the program’s launch in 2007, UW–Madison has been represented among nine of these projects, four of those being specifically from the Department of Biochemistry.
To receive funding, they and other Grand Challenges Explorations winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of seven critical global heath and development topic areas. The title of their project is “Modeling of Microbial Community Dynamics to Enhance Ecological Stability and Growth.”