Discovery & Translational Sciences

our goal
To catalyze innovation for the discovery and translation of transformative solutions to global health and development inequity.
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At a glance

  • The primary role of our team is to provide tools that enable the foundation to achieve its bold global health and development goals.
  • For this, we exploit a comparative advantage of the foundation in general and Discovery & Translational Sciences in particular: the ability to invest in high-risk initiatives with potential for truly disruptive change.
  • When possible, we aim to foster the generation of more deliverable, scalable, and sustainable versions of extant interventions. When not, we aim to drive the discovery and development of transformational advances toward impact that would otherwise not be possible.
  • Our scope of work ranges from knowledge generation to proof-of-concept studies.

The latest updates on discovery & translational sciences

Two scientists working on a Grand Challenges project in Australia

Why we invest in innovation

The foundation’s Grand Challenges program invests in innovations that aim to solve the world’s biggest problems that don’t attract financing from the usual sources.
By Trevor Mundel President, Global Health, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Laboratory worker prepares test tubes

ReFRAMing Research: How new technology could reveal a treatment for COVID-19

Interview with Ken Duncan on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). Duncan leads drug discovery efforts for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Discovery & Translational Sciences team.
By Ken Duncan Deputy Director, Discovery & Translational Sciences, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Woman clapping

Exemplars in Global Health: Q&A with Dr. Niranjan Bose

Exemplars in Global Health aims to help country-level decision-makers, global partners and funders allocate resources, develop policies, and make decisions based on data-driven global health models.
By Niranjan Bose Managing Director, Health and Life Sciences, Gates Ventures
OUR STRATEGY

Our strategy

The Discovery & Translational Sciences team provides the tools needed to enable the foundation to achieve its bold mission. For this, we exploit a comparative advantage of the foundation in general and our team in particular: the ability to invest in high-risk initiatives with potential for truly disruptive change.

The scope of our work ranges from knowledge generation to proof-of-concept studies in humans (or the equivalent). When possible, we aim to foster the generation of more affordable, deliverable, scalable, and sustainable versions of extant interventions. When not, we aim to drive the discovery and development of transformational advances toward impact that cannot otherwise be achieved. Key functions in support of this mission include the continuous surveying of an ever-changing scientific and technological innovation space; the catalyzing and harnessing of cutting-edge technologies both for specific initiatives and for the development of platforms that can provide cross-cutting support to drug, vaccine, and biologics discovery and translation; and the fostering of an effective ecosystem of global health innovation, funding, and partnership.

We source, sustain, and accelerate innovation and innovative partners in diverse ways, ranging from RFP platforms (the Grand Challenges family of programs) to technology sentinel programs and directly targeted investments in technologies, investigators, and platforms across academia, research institutes, biotech, pharma, and product development partners. We work closely with the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute in the translational space. We place a high value on the continued expansion of a robust, open-science, open-data ecosystem to facilitate much more rapid, data-based decision-making in global health.

Grand Challenges

We recognize that solving the most pressing challenges in global health and development requires more of the world's brightest minds working on them. The Grand Challenges family of initiatives seeks to engage innovators from around the world to solve these challenges. Grand Challenges initiatives are united by their focus on fostering innovation, directing research to where it will have the most impact, and serving those most in need.

STRATEGY LEADERSHIP

Strategy leadership

OUR PARTNERS

Our partners

Brazilian Ministry of Health
Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
Grand Challenges Canada
India Department of Biotechnology
Wellcome Trust