Cazenovia alumnus awarded Gates Grant

QuantaSpec Inc. announced May 18 that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Kenneth A. Puzey, son of George and Ethel Puzey of Cazenovia and President of QuantaSpec, will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled "Spectraphone."

Grand Challenges Explorations funds scientists and researchers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. QuantaSpec's project was one of over 85 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 6 grants announced May 18 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

"GCE winners are expanding the pipeline of ideas for serious global health and development challenges where creative thinking is most urgently needed. These grants are meant to spur on new discoveries that could ultimately save millions of lives," said Chris Wilson, director of Global Health Discovery at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

To receive funding, Puzey and other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 6 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas: polio eradication, HIV, sanitation and family health technologies, and mobile health.

QuantaSpec's grant will be used to help develop a new mobile diagnostic platform called Spectraphone(tm) that provides automated, rapid, reagent-free diagnosis of diseases such as malaria.

The Spectraphone will revolutionize infectious disease diagnosis, lowering test costs, improving detection of low-level infections, increasing accessibility, improving reliability, reducing logistical burdens, and enabling automatic reporting of test results to facilitate national health monitoring.

"The combined ability of QuantaSpec's technology to detect low level infections at low cost will enable the identification of asymptomatic carriers and help accelerate the eradication of malaria," Puzey said. "Further, the ability of the technology to identify drug susceptibility status of infections will enable more cost effective treatment and help slow the spread of drug resistance."

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