The idea doesn\'t sound complicated: Make one virus able to kill another.
Liu Chang, a 28-year-old instructor with medical school of Nankai University in Tiajin, proposes to create a virus in the lab that could kill HIV, the virus causing the deadly AIDS, which kills people worldwide.
His idea helped him win a $100,000 research grant from Grand Challenges Explorations, part of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative supported by the Gates Foundation. The initiative is a five-year, $100 million program to promote innovation in global health.
\"It\'s big pleasant surprise for me to get the grant supporting my research, which might one day help save AIDS victims,\" Liu said Wednesday.
\"In China, the chance for a young researcher like me, with no background of overseas study, to get a grant of this sum is quite slim,\" he said. The grant money has already been distributed and his award-winning proposal project, \"HIVi: a novel weapon to kill HIV,\" is underway.
If the research passes an expert evaluation one year from now, he would get another $1,000,000 to support further work.
Among the 78 awards of $100,000 in the forth round of the Grand Challenges grants announced by the foundation May 11, two are from China.
In addition to Liu, the other is Professor Dang Hongyue with the China University of Petroleum in Qingdao.
Dang will research whether early-stage pneumonia infection produces specific biomarkers that can be detected in a breath analysis.
\"These are a great example of applying entrepreneurial spirit in scientific investigation by developing life-saving products,\" said Ray Yip, who heads the China efforts of the foundation. \"The purpose of this program is to encourage this spirit, instead of doing research for more publications.\"
To date, the grants have been awarded to 340 researchers from 31 countries, with only 4 from the Chinese mainland.
Some blamed relatively poor innovation and creativity by Chinese scientific researchers for that. Liu, however, thought otherwise.
\"I am totally trained within China and never went abroad before. But I don\'t think young science workers like me lack creativity in research,\" he noted.
There are encouraging signs that some of the world\'s talent has began to shift into issues that cause the most suffering, like health and development in poor countries, said Bill Gates in May.
\"In the past few years, China has increased its investment significantly and launched a number of projects in health, such as the control and treatment of AIDS and hepatitis,\" he said.
(Source: China Daily)