Seattle, WA, United States
Seattle, WA, United States

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world, founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world Wikipedia.

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News Article | April 19, 2017

— The Edcamp Foundation’s Leadership Summit was held in Parsippany, NJ over the weekend of March 10-12th, 2017, and attended by many trailblazers in the field of education including Founder of Eitner Education, Jay Eitner. The event was part of a series of more than 700 conferences across 25 countries that have been produced as part of the organizer’s mandate to advance self-directed learning among educators, with operational and lead funding coming from sponsors such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The NewSchools Seed Fund. Participants including superintendents, administrators, teachers, and coaches were invited to share best practices, to collaborate in addressing common issues, and to focus on professional development. With close to 4 million elementary and secondary school teachers instructing 50 million students in the United States, the American public education system is undoubtedly complex and suffers from shortcomings—as assistant professor of education Jack Schneider observes in a piece published by the Atlantic. In cross-national assessments such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), the United States regularly ranks around the median of a group of 71 countries, reflecting much room for improvement. It is within this pedagogic framework that Jay Eitner attends multiple national conferences such as Edcamp’s in an effort to adapt and disseminate innovative strategies for educators in US schools. Over the course of the Leadership Summit, which is offered at no cost, participants are engaged as equals and are directly responsible for shaping the schedule and content of the event’s workshops. National School Board Educational Technology Leader and Edcamp attendee Adam Schoenberg reflects that a “common thread throughout was the need for empathy throughout our schools” achieved by teachers adopting an understanding that learning can be an uncomfortable experience. Similarly, Eitner Education offers balanced professional development curriculum and dialogue opportunities for educators and administrative staff who are seeking new methodologies to strengthen the school system. Founded in 2012, this forward-thinking initiative is fueled by owner-operator Jay Eitner’s regular participation in regional and national educator conferences such as the annual AASA (American Association of School Administrators) and NJASA Spring seminar (New Jersey Association of School Administrators). In recognition of the importance of technology in the classroom, the material offered by Eitner Education is often inclusive of cutting-edge application tutorials and suggested tech resources. Jay Eitner holds a BA in interdisciplinary studies from the American University in Washington, DC and an MA in curriculum and instruction from Kean University in New Jersey. With multiple board certifications and professional experience as a teacher, supervisor and superintendent across two districts, he is well-versed in public education delivery and administration and has been recognized as 2015 national BAMMY Superintendent of the Year as well as the 2016 AASA National Educator to Watch. Notable achievements have included the sourcing and application of over $4,000,000 in grants for technology enhancement in the Lower Alloways Creek School District and oversight of a major $80,000,000 school construction project for the Waterford Township School District. Jay Eitner regularly shares invaluable insights on Twitter, Facebook and his personal blog. Jay Eitner - Nationally Recognized Pioneer in the Field of Education: For more information, please visit

News Article | April 19, 2017

Researchers at Johns Hopkins and George Washington universities report new evidence that proteins created by defective forms of HIV long previously believed to be harmless actually interact with our immune systems and are actively monitored by a specific type of immune cell, called cytotoxic T cells. In a report on the study, conducted on laboratory-grown human cells and published April 12 in the journal Cell Host and Microbe, the investigators say their experiments show that while defective HIV proviruses -- the viral genetic material -- cannot create functional infectious HIVs, a specific subset called "hypermutated" HIV proviruses creates proteins that cytotoxic T cells recognize as HIV. HIV proviruses can outnumber functional HIV 1000 copies to one and the faulty proteins they create can complicate efforts to measure a patient's viral load, exhaust immune systems, shield functional HIV from attack by natural means or drugs, and seriously complicate the development of a cure. Researchers believe that if they can exploit the "hypermutated" form of these proviruses, it could help them eliminate more of the defective HIV proviruses and develop a cure for HIV infection. "The virus has a lot of ways, even in its defective forms, to distract our immune systems, and understanding how they do this is essential in finding a cure," says Ya Chi Ho, M.D., Ph.D., instructor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the lead study investigator. In the study, the scientists collected nine different defective HIV proviruses from six people infected with HIV, then transfected cultures of human immune cells with them in the laboratory. They grew and tested the transfected cells for markers of HIV proliferation -- such as RNA and proteins -- and found that all of them were capable of creating these components despite their mutations. "The fact that defective proviruses can contribute to viral RNA and protein production is concerning, because it means that the measurements of HIV load in infected patients may not be as accurate as we thought. Part of the count is coming from defective viruses," says Ho. After verifying that defective HIV proviruses created HIV proteins, the researchers then tested whether human immune system cells could biologically recognize and interact with those proteins. The group again transfected cells in the lab with 6 different types of defective HIV provirus taken from patients. In collaboration with Dr. R. Brad Jones, Ph.D., co-first author of the paper and assistant professor of microbiology, immunology and tropical medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ho's team matched cytotoxic T lymphocytes, the immune cells responsible for recognizing and destroying HIV, from the corresponding patient to the infected cells. The researchers observed that cells containing a the "hypermutated" HIV can be recognized by an infected patient's cytotoxic T cells. "If we identify and find a way to use the right protein, perhaps one of those expressed by the "hypermutated" HIV we found in this study, we could create a potent vaccine which could boost the immune system enough to eliminate HIV altogether," says Ho. However, defective HIV proviruses can distract the immune cells from attacking fully infectious normal HIV. "The cytotoxic T lymphocytes' ability to identify and target the real threat appears to be greatly impaired, because they may attack proteins from defective proviruses instead of the real thing," says Ho. Ho believes that further information about the mutant proviruses could give scientists the tools to target them, get around them, and create a cure for HIV -- a long elusive goal for virologists. Other researchers involved in this study include Ross A. Pollack, Mihaela Pertea, Katherine M. Bruner, Alyssa R. Martin, Adam A. Capoferri, Subul A. Beg and Robert F. Siliciano from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; R. Brad Jones, Allison S. Thomas, Szu-Han Huang and Sara Karandish of the George Washington University; Eitan Halper-Stromberg of the University of Colorado; Patrick C. Young of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; Colin Kovacs of the University of Toronto & The Maple Leaf Medical Clinic; and Erika Benko of the Maple Leaf Medical Clinic. This work was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Extramural Activities (1R21AI118402-01, AI096114, 1U1AI096109), The Martin Dulaney CARE and DARE Collaboratories, the ARCHE Collaborative Research Grant from the Foundations for AIDS Research Generature Cure initiative, the Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research, the W. Smith Charitable Trust AIDS Research Grant, Gilead Science HIV Cure Research Grant, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Esparza J.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Vaccine | Year: 2013

Soon after HIV was discovered as the cause of AIDS in 1983-1984, there was an expectation that a preventive vaccine would be rapidly developed. In trying to achieve that goal, three successive scientific paradigms have been explored: induction of neutralizing antibodies, induction of cell mediated immunity, and exploration of combination approaches and novel concepts. Although major progress has been made in understanding the scientific basis for HIV vaccine development, efficacy trials have been critical in moving the field forward. In 2009, the field was reinvigorated with the modest results obtained from the RV144 trial conducted in Thailand. Here, we review those vaccine development efforts, with an emphasis on events that occurred during the earlier years. The goal is to provide younger generations of scientists with information and inspiration to continue the search for an HIV vaccine. © 2013 The Author.

Mundel T.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
PLoS Biology | Year: 2016

In the aftermath of the Ebola crisis, the global health community has a unique opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned and apply them to prepare the world for the next crisis. Part of that preparation will entail knowing, with greater precision, what the scale and scope of our specific global health challenges are and what resources are needed to address them. However, how can we know the magnitude of the challenge, and what resources are needed without knowing the current status of the world through accurate primary data? Once we know the current status, how can we decide on an intervention today with a predicted impact decades out if we cannot project into that future? Making a case for more investments will require not just better data generation and sharing but a whole new level of sophistication in our analytical capability—a fundamental shift in our thinking to set expectations to match the reality. In this current status of a distributed world, being transparent with our assumptions and specific with the case for investing in global health is a powerful approach to finding solutions to the problems that have plagued us for centuries. © 2016 Trevor Mundel.

Sexually transmitted diseases, a source of widespread morbidity and sometimes mortality, are caused by a diverse group of infections with a common route of transmission. Existing vaccines against hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human papilloma virus 16, 18, 6 and 11 are highly efficacious and cost effective. In reviewing the potential role for other vaccines against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) a series of questions needs to be addressed about the burden of disease, the potential characteristics of a new vaccine, and the impact of other interventions. These questions can be viewed in the light of the population dynamics of sexually transmitted infections as a group and how a vaccine can impact these dynamics. Mathematical models show the potential for substantial impact, especially if vaccines are widely used. To better make the case for sexually transmitted infection vaccines we need better data and analyses of the burden of disease, especially severe disease. However, cost effectiveness analyses using a wide range of assumptions show that STI vaccines would be cost effective and their development a worthwhile investment. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Pingali P.L.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2012

A detailed retrospective of the Green Revolution, its achievement and limits in terms of agricultural productivity improvement, and its broader impact at social, environmental, and economic levels is provided. Lessons learned and the strategic insights are reviewed as the world is preparing a "redux" version of the Green Revolution with more integrative environmental and social impact combined with agricultural and economic development. Core policy directions for Green Revolution 2.0 that enhance the spread and sustainable adoption of productivity enhancing technologies are specified.

Zwane A.P.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Science | Year: 2012

The concept of scarcity helps to understand and aid decision-making, particularly in the case of very poor people.

Gates M.F.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Science | Year: 2014

The development field needs to be more serious about gender inequities and women's empowerment. By ignoring gender inequities, many development projects fail to achieve their objective. And when development organizations do not focus on women's empowerment, they neglect the fact that empowered women have the potential to transform their societies. I also review the Gates Foundation's record on gender and propose some approaches to improve it.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation | Date: 2014-11-14

At least one aspect of the technology provides a self-contained processing facility configured to convert organic, high water-content waste, such as fecal sludge and garbage, into electricity while also generating and collecting potable water.

Wheeler T.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Journal of epidemiology and community health | Year: 2012

Debates have raged in development for decades about the appropriateness of participatory approaches and the degree to which they can be managed, scaled and measured. The Avahan programme confronted these issues over the last 7 years and concludes that it is advantageous to manage scaled community mobilisation processes so that participation evolves and programming on the ground is shaped by what is learnt through implementation. The donor (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) and its partners determined a standard set of programme activities that were implemented programme-wide but evolved with input from communities on the ground. Difficulties faced in monitoring and measurement in Avahan may be characteristic of similar efforts to measure community mobilisation in a scaled programme, and ultimately these challenges informed methods that were useful. The approach the programme undertook for learning and changing, the activities it built into the HIV prevention programme, and its logic model and measurement tools, may be relevant in other public health settings seeking to integrate community mobilisation.

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