The Hartwell Foundation


2009 Second Annual Meeting Biomedical Research

October 4-7: Baltimore, MD

The Hartwell Foundation held its second Annual Meeting Biomedical Research on October 4-7 in Baltimore, MD. Thirty-six Hartwell Investigators (Classes from 2006, 2007 and 2008), represented 14 different centers of excellence for biomedical research in the United States. Each individual presented their ongoing research and reviewed progress toward achieving research aims. With the enthusiasm of scientists committed to ensuring that practical benefits come to children from innovative, early-stage, cutting-edge, biomedical research, Hartwell Investigators revealed their notable triumphs, occasional frustrations, as well as their solutions to overcoming impediments. In the spirit of The Hartwell Foundation, the non-competitive exchanges reflected how collaboration and leveraging resources benefits everyone.

All of the meeting participants enjoyed the broad scope of innovative research being supported by The Hartwell Foundation. Breakthroughs in understanding childhood diseases caught everyone’s attention. Several notable successes were reported, including advances in management of blood flow within the brain of children suffering brain trauma, new approaches for imaging and assessing lung function in asthma, successful "knifeless" surgery in utero to correct a heart defect, and the delivery of drug-bearing nanoparticles to brain tumors. Advances in tissue engineering, the development of nano-devices to reduce risk of pneumonia, rapid diagnostic tools for disease detection in neonates, novel methods for high throughput drug candidate screening and progress in understanding gene-disease relationships were also among the highlights.


On the morning following two full days of scientific presentations, everyone toured the Johns Hopkins Computational Science and Engineering, a facility designed to promote and foster interdisciplinary cooperation in research and development within the academic setting. Afterwards, everyone was treated to a highly personal talk on innovation by 2003 Nobel Laureatte Peter Agre, MD, from The Johns Hopkins University, followed by a luncheon at the Faculty Club. Of special significance at the luncheon was the attendance of a young patient and his family who benefited from advances for monitoring blood pressure autoregulation in traumatic brain injury achieved by one of the Hartwell Investigators.

The Hartwell Foundation seeks to inspire innovation and achievement by offering individual scientists and engineers an opportunity to develop solutions to problems commonly perceived as too risky to fund by conventional funding agencies, like the NIH. Through a unique and selective process, the Foundation provides financial support to stimulate discovery in early-stage biomedical research that it hopes will benefit children of the United States.