01/15/2013 02:38 pm ET

UCSF Gates Foundation Grant: Researchers Receive $16 Million

It seems the Gates Foundation has shined on the University of California, San Francisco.

UCSF landed $16 million in grant money from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to research child mortality and disease prevention in developing countries.

The grant was awarded to two different teams. Thomas Leitman, M.D. received $12 million to research the oral medication of children in three African Nations including Nigeria, Tanzania and Malawi. The project will be conducted in conjunction with the Carter Center, Johns Hopkins and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

"If we want to make a public health difference, we have to show that we can reduce childhood mortality in areas that are not otherwise receiving mass antibiotics," Leitman said in a UCSF press release.

James McKerrow, M.D./Ph.D.'s team was awarded $4.3 million to investigate a drug with the capacity to kill a parasitic roundworm causing river blindness. The drug could also be used to treat a related parasite that causes a "crippling and disfiguring disease," according to the release. McKerrow and his team are based at the UCSF Center for Discovery and Innovation in Parasitic disease.

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation funds projects focused on developing innovations in the health field.



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