BRANDON, MB – A top researcher at Brandon University (BU) hoping to cure devastating tropical diseases is getting help from a multi-billion dollar fund established by the co-founder of Microsoft.
Biology professor Dr. Bernadette Ardelli is a co-principal investigator with Dr. Robert Greenberg from Penn State in a project that will study tropical diseases including schistosomiasis and filariasis which, to date, lack effective vaccines. Their work could lead to better treatment and control of tropical diseases that threaten millions of people around the world.
“We hope to show that existing drugs can be used to successfully treat these dangerous yet understudied tropical diseases,” says Dr. Ardelli. “The alternative is waiting years and years for the development of expensive new drugs and therapies.”
Drs. Ardelli and Greenberg will share $100,000 awarded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the world with an endowment approaching $40 billion dollars. This is the first time a BU researcher has received funding through the Foundation. Dr. Ardelli’s project was one of 84 selected for funding from 2,700 applications.
Dr. Gervan Fearon, Vice-President (Academic and Provost), states that, “Through Dr. Ardelli’s work, Brandon University is moving forward on its research mission to address questions that meet societal needs and lead to the betterment of people from the community to global level.“
Dr. Ardelli is optimistic the data collected during this 18-month, entitled Grand Challenges Exploration Grant in Neglected Tropical Diseases, will spawn a more expansive study.
Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.
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Dr. Bernadette Ardelli
Associate Professor, Dept. of Biology