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Human Health and Wellbeing

Disease and premature death are a major source of suffering. Treatments now potentially within reach may extend the human healthspan and improve quality of life. We aim to support tractable and cost-effective research on the world’s most burdensome diseases, including heart disease, cancer, malaria, and others. In addition to the grants listed here, Open Philanthropy Scientific Research staff advises Good Ventures on research related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Our Work

Grant 1/2018

This multicenter clinical trial of a new therapy for severe sepsis will be led by Dr. Michael Donnino of Harvard. Sepsis is a significant cause of mortality in the United States and worldwide, resulting in an estimated 5.3 million deaths annually.

Press 11/2018
from The Economist

Target Malaria carries the prospect of huge humanitarian gains. It’s carefully designed, supported by Open Phil and the Gates Foundation, being carried out under international scrutiny, and gaining political support and inspiring a generation of researchers.

Grant 10/2018

The Open Philanthropy Project recommended $1,044,501 to the CDC Foundation to support work on the cryopreservation of mosquito larvae which could make it easier for researchers conduct field trials related to malaria prevention.

Press 9/2018
from STAT

Burkina Faso granted scientists permission to release genetically engineered mosquitoes. It’s a key step in the broader efforts to use bioengineering to eliminate malaria in the region.

This work was driven by our grantee Target Malaria.

Press 5/2018
from Vox

Researchers are proceeding vigorously but not with reckless abandon or excessive hubris. They know the tremendous stakes of the work placed before them.

We are interested in reducing the burden of malaria, and have supported research in this area.

Press 5/2018
from National Public Radio

Scientists have launched two large studies, including one we supported, to test a treatment that could have an enormous impact on the leading cause of death in U.S. hospitals — sepsis.

Grant 4/2018

This seed-stage investment is intended to support research and development in the hopes that a VasoRx clinical trial can test a new therapy for vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, one of the leading causes of death in the developed world.

Blog Post 11/2017

Some research areas are underfunded because achieving the relevant research objectives is underrated by the "broad market." This post explains our original hopes and expectations, what we have done so far, and our plans going forward.