COLLEGE PARK, Md. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given money to a Maryland medical school for research into the causes of diarrheal disease and identification of the pathogens that cause the infections.
The University of Maryland School of Medicine's Center for Vaccine Development said Tuesday it was given a $5.6 million grant from the Gates Foundation, and will use the award to test samples of diarrheal diseases from Bangladesh, Mali and Kenya—countries where diarrheal disease is rapidly developing.
Diarrheal disease is caused by infections through a variety of bacteria, parasites and viruses. It accounts for at least 18 percent of deaths in children under the age of five around the world, school officials said.
Dr. James Nataro, a professor at the UM medical school and associate director of its Center for Vaccine Development, will lead the study along with a team of researchers.
The latest award is in addition to a $27.9 million grant the School of Medicine received in August 2006 from the organization to gather information to develop vaccines for diarrheal diseases and distribute them to some of the world's poorest countries.
In July, the Institute of Human Virology at the university received a $15 million grant from the Gates Foundation to further its AIDS research and drug development.