Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals announces 2016 grant funding to 10 physician-scientists

Institution agnostic model: Scholars are affiliated with nine universities

Jan 20, 2016, 15:19 ET from University Hospitals

CLEVELAND, Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals (UH) in Cleveland, Ohio has announced the 2016 recipients of Harrington Scholar-Innovator Awards. The awards support breakthrough work of physician-scientists whose discovery research shows promise of advancing the standard of care.

The Harrington Discovery Institute – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development - provides a novel model that fills an unmet need in academic medicine to advance discovery into the clinical realm. Its focus on physician-scientist innovators from around the world based purely on merit creates opportunity regardless of institution affiliation.      

In addition to financial support (up to $700,000) awarded to each selected physician-scientist, the Institute offers continual mentoring and expertise by leaders in the pharmaceutical industry charged with fostering pragmatic drug development. Mentors with the Institute's Innovation Support Center offer guidance around target validation, commercial development and FDA regulatory strategy. While working with the Institute, physician-scientists (and their institutions) retain the intellectual property (IP) for their work.

"This intense, hands-on support is considered by our scholars the most important aspect of their engagement with us," said Jonathan Stamler, MD, Director of the Harrington Discovery Institute, who also is Director of the Institute for Transformative Molecular Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "We are serious about accelerating cures and cultivating a network of physician-scientists across the nation and around the world who are on the front lines of drug development." 

Scholars have access to several rounds of capital support to further the transition into the commercial realm. Scholars also can approach investors of their choice to support the advancement of their work to proof-of-concept and eventual clinical trials, or they can have facilitated access to BioMotiv, the mission aligned development company of The Harrington Project, although there are no obligations on either side.  

"Many in health care consider that the drug development pipeline is broken," continued Dr. Stamler. "We focus on physician-scientists because we know that they are compelled to do this work, driven by their commitment to the patients they treat every day. Their passion is the fuel, and then we provide support, structure and wise counsel from seasoned experts in the field. This combination is what makes our approach so unique."

The 2016 Harrington Scholar-Innovator grant recipients are:

Nunzio Bottini, MD, PhD - La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology – development of a novel biologic for rheumatoid arthritis

Stanley N. Cohen, MD - Stanford University – novel strategy and target for treating Huntington's disease and other inherited neurodegenerative disorders

Benjamin Gaston, MDCase Western Reserve University – a respiratory stimulant in perioperative and critical care settings 

Rama K. Mallampalli, MDUniversity of Pittsburgh – development of inhibitors that prevent lung transplantation rejection

M. Peter Marinkovich, MDStanford University – novel therapeutic for disfiguring skin diseases such as psoriasis

David J. Milan, MDMassachusetts General Hospital – promising therapy for inherited heart rhythm disorders

Kevin D. Niswender, MD, PhDVanderbilt University – novel compounds for diabetes, psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders

Susan P. Perrine, MDBoston University – therapeutic for sickle cell anemia and beta-thalassemia

Ann Marie Schmidt, MDNYU School of Medicine – development of a therapeutic for prevention and treatment of diabetic complications, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer's disease

Gerald I. Shulman, MD, PhDYale University – novel approach to treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes

Harrington Discovery Institute
The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio—part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development—aims to advance medicine and society by enabling our nation's most inventive physician-scientists to turn their discoveries into medicines that improve human health. 

The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development
The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development (The Harrington Project), announced in late February 2012, is a first-of-its-kind $250 million national initiative, powered by a $50 million gift from the Harrington family.  It includes the Harrington Discovery Institute and BioMotiv, a for-profit, mission-aligned development company that oversees a portfolio of early-stage programs, which are built to be licensed to pharmaceutical companies.

For more information about The Harrington Project, the Harrington Discovery Institute and the Harrington Scholar-Innovator program, visit: www.HarringtonDiscovery.org  

About University Hospitals
University Hospitals, the second largest private employer in Northeast Ohio with 26,000 employees, serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 17 hospitals, more than 35 outpatient health centers and primary care physician offices in 15 counties. At the core of our $4.5 billion health system is University Hospitals Case Medical Center, ranked among America's best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. The primary affiliate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, UH Case Medical Center is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopaedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, transplantation and genetics. Its main campus includes UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation; UH MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and UH Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Western Reserve University. For more information, go to www.uhhospitals.org 

SOURCE University Hospitals



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