NGDI Member Hongshen Ma New Grand Challenges Canada Awardee

Vancouver: Dr. Hongshen Ma, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering at UBC will develop a low-cost and portable hematology analyzer as a screening tool for several key global health diseases including parasitic infections (viral, bacterial, fungal, and helminths), micronutrient deficiency (Iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B12), and hemoglobinopathies (sickle cell, thalassemia, and G6PD).

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For the full Grand Challenges Canada press release click here. (excerpt below)

From cities all across the country, 17 Canadians are selected for their bold out-of-the-box ideas to tackle debilitating disease and save lives in the Developing World Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the Government of Canada, announced today seed grants awarded to 17 innovators for their bold and creative ideas to tackle health conditions in poor countries. The Stars in Global Health program seeks unique, breakthrough and affordable ideas which can be transformative in addressing disease – innovations that can benefit the developed world as well. The 17 were selected from a total of 60 proposals submitted for the Canadian Stars program. A total of more than $1.7 million in funding will go to innovators from across Canada.

The bold ideas are breakthrough innovations such as mimicking rocket propelled technology, but in the body, to address maternal bleeding. A meter to detect HIV infection in fewer than 5 minutes. And a virtual reality game to assist stroke victims.

“Canada has a deep pool of talent dedicated to pursuing bold ideas that can have big impact in the developing world,” said Dr. Peter A. Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada. “Grand Challenges Canada is proud to support these extraordinary innovators from across the country because they will make a difference to so many lives.”

“Canada works with our like-minded partners throughout the world to leverage our investments in health innovation so they’re focused on getting results,” said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. “We support Grand Challenges Canada’s Stars in Global Health so these innovators can apply their talents and further efforts to make the world a healthier and safer place.”

Each of the 17 innovators will receive a grant of $100,000 to develop their bold ideas.

Other University of British Columbia Fundees are:

Dr. Christian Kastrup will mimic rocket technology to propel coagulant nanoparticles into the bloodstream and stop maternal bleeding, a major cause of death in the developing world.
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Dr. Robin Evans is developing a Burn Survival Kit, a high-tech solution to treat burn victims. The innovation is being tested in Uganda where often burns are untreated or mistreated. This unique kit will include a low-cost silver nanotubule dressing so that the treatment is affordable.
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