October 19, 2014

Research Roundup: Ebola vaccine hurdles, SDG financing, blocking malaria transmission, and more

Senior Program Assistant

In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

National Geographic takes an in-depth looks at how scientific hurdles, ethical concerns, and politics have slowed progress on the development of a vaccine against Ebola. The piece traces the development of the experimental vaccines and treatments currently being tested and examines how funding constraints and ethical decisions on how to allocate research funds relative to disease burden have impeded the development of an Ebola vaccine.

Devex previews the conversation and debate that will soon unfold about how the world will successfully finance the Sustainable Development Goals. In July 2015, the international development community will gather in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the International Conference on Financing for Development to tackle this issue. With many traditional donor countries still struggling economically and failing to meet funding targets for development assistance, the article discusses the challenge of putting together a plan to finance what looks to be an ambitious set of developments goals.

Malaria No More and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation explore the next generation of treatments that seek to eliminate the malaria parasite from the human body. While malaria research has traditionally focused on blocking transmission of the parasite by protecting people from mosquito bites, new research is exploring ways to interrupt the transmission of the parasite from man back to mosquito.

In an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, Dr. Anthony Fauci—head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health—said he disagreed with Dr. Francis Collins statement last week that an Ebola vaccine would likely have already been discovered if it were not for federal budget cuts. While Dr. Fauci noted that budget cuts have slowed down research overall, he said he would not speculate about what medical developments were prevented as a result of these cuts.

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