Prof. Sai Reddy receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant
Sai Reddy from the ETH Zurich Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering receives the prestigious Grand Challenges Explorations grant for innovative research in global health and development.
Sai Reddy is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In collaboration with Prof. Bruno Correia of EPFL (call_made) Sai Reddy will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Measurement of Somatic Hypermutation Induced by C3d Adjuvants”. As Sai Reddy explains more precisely: “The goal of this project is to use advanced methods of analysing immune responses to characterise a molecular vaccine adjuvant that targets immune cell receptors. Prof. Correia will work closely with my group to produce and engineer our molecular vaccine adjuvants so that they stimulate immune responses with greater efficiency.” École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health challenges. Furthermore, the foundation’s goal is to identify, support and shape scientific research that can have the most impact and to accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into solutions that improve people’s health.
Sai Reddy’s project is one of more than 40 GCE grants announced today by the Gates Foundation which received over 1’400 applications in this round. Up to now, over 1’190 projects in more than 61 countries have received GCE grants. The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organisation. Initial grants of US dollars 100’000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to one million.
To receive funding, Sai Reddy demonstrated in a two-page application a bold idea in one of five critical global health and development topic areas. The hypothesis of Sai Reddy’s project is that C3d is able to stimulate stronger signaling and increased expression in B cells of the enzyme activation induced cytidine deaminase, the master regulator of somatic hypermutation.
Sai Reddy’s overall research interests are in the emerging field of experimental systems immunology which is at the intersection of molecular biotechnology and immunology. Located in Basel, his group’s research in systems immunology is focused on gaining a more comprehensive and quantitative understanding of the immune system. This approach will also serve as a basis for the development of next-generation immunotherapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics. “The GCE grant is another example of how one of the core mission’s of D-BSSE is in translational medicine, in this case specifically in the area of applied immunology”, emphasizes Sai Reddy.