Page last updated at 19:50 GMT, Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Gates' charity funds new vaccines

Researchers from Southampton have been given a $100,000 (£61,000) grant from Microsoft tycoon Bill Gates to develop lifesaving vaccines.

The funding has been given to the University of Southampton to design inoculations to defend against bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis.

The money is one of 76 grants worldwide from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The researchers will work alongside universities in Liverpool and Bristol.

The team, led by microbiologist Dr Jeremy Webb, aims to create vaccines to stop bacteria ganging together and forming a defence layer - or biofilm - against antibiotics and the body's immune system.

The university's School of Biological Sciences and Medicine will work with researchers at the University of Bristol and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

The money was granted in a third round of funding as part of the foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations initiative, which aims to help scientists find ways to improve health in developing countries.

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