Infectious diseases continue to pose a challenge to the health and wellbeing of human and animals globally as well as livelihoods of many in the less developed world. Happily, there have also been significant progress made in our understanding of pathogens/diseases and our knowledge of immunology to solve some of these challenges we face today. Furthermore, with increasing pressure on small molecule driven therapeutics (e.g. resistance), there is increasing demand to identify and develop immunological approaches to disease prevention and control.
The Livestock initiative within the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is committed to exploiting the wealth of expertise and translational capability within the veterinary immunology community toward creating novel, preventive solutions to significant diseases of animals and humans, in particular those that have long been neglected (e.g. ECF, AAT, etc.). Some of these efforts being progressed in collaboration with our partners will be discussed. These include our partnership with DfID on GALVmed, with IDRC and Global Affairs Canada on Livestock Vaccine Innovation Fund, our technology evaluation platform through University of Edinburgh, a challenge prize for a particular vaccine innovation in partnership with multiple donors and our proposed Grand Challenge Exploration that we plan to launch, informed by the workshop at the IVIS-2016.
The Veterinary Immunology Community has a significant opportunity to play a leading role in contributing to the knowledge of immunology but also (and more importantly) has the responsibility to move beyond knowledge creation to develop solutions that will address the infectious disease challenges we face.