Global payer

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Science  11 Sep 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6253, pp. 1154-1157
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6253.1154

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Jeremy Farrar took over as head of the Wellcome Trust, the world's second biggest private funder of medical research, in October 2013. Three months later, the biggest Ebola outbreak the world has ever seen started. Farrar, an infectious disease specialist with a lot of experience working in poor countries, became a key voice in the epidemic. He chastised the world for not acting more decisively; lobbied for making experimental therapies available; and, through the Wellcome Trust, helped fund research in West Africa including the vaccine trial in Guinea, which for the first time showed protection from Ebola in humans. The outbreak pushed Farrar and the Wellcome Trust onto the international stage. Farrar intends to stay there, but he also plans to make the trust more dynamic, give younger scientists a leg up, coordinate more closely with another public health behemoth, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and focus on areas where Wellcome can have a major impact.