The Goals and Grand Challenges
- To improve childhood vaccines: Improving delivery and stability of vaccines, as well as making them quicker and easier to administer, may one day save thousands of lives.
GC#1: Create effective single-dose vaccines that can be used soon after birth;
GC#2: Prepare vaccines that do not require refrigeration;
GC#3: Develop needle-free delivery systems for vaccines.
- To create new vaccines: Recent advances in medical research and technologies have the potential to help scientists move forward in the design and evaluation of new vaccines. Though vaccines exist for many of the common diseases, the world still lacks effective vaccines for the biggest killers; namely, malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS.
GC#4: Devise reliable tests in model systems to evaluate live attenuated vaccines;
GC#5: Solve how to design antigens for effective, protective immunity;
GC#6: Learn which immunological responses provide protective immunity.
- To control insects that transmit agents of disease: The sequencing of the genomes of insects and the pathogens they transmit provide new possibilities for developing chemical and genetic strategies to stop insects from passing on diseases. Several promising approaches exist for combating malaria and other insect-transmitted diseases.
GC#7: Develop a genetic strategy to deplete or incapacitate a disease-transmitting insect population;
GC#8: Develop a chemical strategy to deplete or incapacitate a disease-transmitting insect population.
- To improve nutrition to promote health: Poor nutrition is a major global health problem. A promising long-term solution is to genetically modify crops that grow well in harsh climates so that they contain high levels of essential nutrients. The focus of several projects is on creating such nutrient-rich staple crops that can survive in harsh climates.
GC#9: Create a full range of optimal bioavailable nutrients in a single staple plant species.
- To improve drug treatment of infectious diseases:
Developing drugs that target different components of a pathogen and finding new ways to deliver them in the body may one day minimize drug resistance.
Great strides need to be made in combating disease-causing microbes which often mutate and develop drug resistance.
GC#10: Discover drugs and delivery systems that minimize the likelihood of drug resistant micro-organisms.
- To cure latent and chronic infections: Using new knowledge and technologies, scientists are working on therapies that may one day help cure infections such as HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis. Additional areas of focus include various strategies to fight the increasing drug resistance of TB and pursue therapies for latent infections.
GC#11: Create therapies that can cure latent infections;
GC#12: Create immunological methods that can cure latent infection
- To measure disease and health status accurately and economically in developing countries:
Inadequate or expensive diagnostic test to identify the cause of illness coupled with incomplete medical records can impede work in the developing world to target resources nd disease control efforts. Numerous projects are investigating new approaches to obtaining accurate information on the burden of injury and disease in developing countries.
GC#13: Develop technologies that permit quantitative assessment of population health status;
GC#14: Develop technologies that allow assessment of individuals for multiple conditions or pathogens at point-of-care.