Gates Foundation gives Washington University $13 million to study tropical diseases

St. Louis – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $13 million grant to the Washington University School of Medicine for research on two parasitic diseases.

The grant announced Thursday will be used to study treatments for elephantiasis and river blindness.

The university says put together, the two tropical diseases have a health impact
comparable to HIV and malaria.

The award is believed to be the largest global health grant ever received by the St. Louis-based university.

Principal researcher Gary Weil said the project will seek to optimize existing treatments.