Toronto Star - $2 million in grants awarded to researchers hoping to save lives


Toronto researcher Diego Bassaniand his South African colleagues have spent the past six years developing and testing a fetal heart monitor that operates without electricity. Bassani is one of 19 Canadian researchers who received a grant from Grand Challenges Canada this week to pursue innovative solutions to health problems in developing countries. Seven are from Toronto.

[Four researchers are from McGill and the Research Institute of the MUHC received grants, including]: A low-cost tuberculosis test - McGill University researcher Madhukar Pai’s idea is to make TB detection tests available for under $2.

“TB, a disease that kills millions of people, is hard to diagnose and there is no accurate, rapid, low-cost test,” Pai said. A test currently costs about $30, making it “pretty unaffordable and very difficult to get in low and middle-income countries,” Singer said. Pai, who trained as a physician in India, said he wants to market the test there as a mainstream offering.

“This project will demonstrate that it’s possible to produce affordable diagnostics and yet be profitable,” he said.