We are thankful for philanthropists who support researchers like Dr. Thomas Unnasch

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Gates Foundation awards $100,000 grant to Dr. Thomas Unnasch

Distinguished University Health Professor Thomas Unnasch, PhD, and colleagues, are the recipients of a $100,00 Grand Challenge Explorations Grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The award funds the investigators for “New Approaches for Detection, Treatment, and Control of Selected Neglected Tropical Diseases.”


A team of researchers at the USF College of Public Health and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom will create ”High-Resolution Ecological Mapping of Filarial Vectors.” According to their grant application, the “tools will map the locations and chart the habitats of vectors of several parasitic worm infections to promote safer and more effective control strategies.”

Dr. Unnasch is one of the world’s leading experts on onchocerciasis, or river blindness, a rare parasitic disease spread by the bite of a black fly that breeds in fast-flowing rivers. In October, he was named Distinguished University Health Professor, the highest honor bestowed on a member of the USF Health faculty.

As chair of the Department of Global Health, Dr. Unnasch oversees more than 10 concentrations that lead to MPH, MSPH, DrPH, and PhD degrees, as well several dual degrees, graduate certificates, and special programs. Most recently, Global Health added an online master of public health degree in infection control to its academic offerings.

Related stories:
Dr. Thomas Unnasch named Distinguished University Health Professor
Defeating river blindness one village at a time [VIDEO]

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