The Hartwell Foundation


2016 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards

Memphis, TN, April 01, 2017 - The Hartwell Foundation today officially announced the recipients of the 2016 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards, which will provide support for three years at $100,000 direct cost per year. Twelve individuals representing ten institutions received recognition as Hartwell Investigators:

  • Debra Silver, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University for Amelioration of Neural Stem Cell Defects Underlying Zika Virus-Induced Microcephaly
  • Jill A. Fahrner, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, The Johns Hopkins University for Altering Epigenetics to Treat Growth Abnormalities
  • Heather W. Pinkett, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Molecular Biosciences, Northwestern University for Blocking the Antimicrobial Transport Pathway to Eradicate Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria in Otitis Media
  • Rana K. Gupta, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center for Directing Stem Cells to the Fat Cell Lineage to Treat Infantile Hemangiomas
  • Amy Throckmorton, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Drexel University for Hybrid Dual-Support Ventricular Assist Device for Heart Failure
  • Ho Lam (Hogan) Tang, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, The Johns Hopkins University for Inhibiting Anastasis in Cancer: Overcoming Reversal in the Cell Death Process to Prevent Recurrence
  • Samuel M. Alaish, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University for Partitioned Stent to Overcome Infections and Feeding Intolerance in Short Bowel Syndrome
  • Timothy D. Hanks, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of California, Davis for Remedying Neural Circuit Dysfunction in a Novel Model of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Martin L. Basch, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Case Western Reserve University for Restoring Hearing in Congenital Deafness
  • Nikhil S. Malvankar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biophysics, Yale University for Targeting Antibiotic Resistance and Biofilm Formation in Bacterial Infections
  • Fabio Demontis, Ph.D., Assistant Member, Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children’s Hospital for Treating Skeletal Muscle Wasting with Novel Growth-Promoting Myokines to Improve Disease Prognosis
  • Jop van Berlo, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, for Unlocking the Regenerative Potential of the Heart

The Hartwell Foundation is pleased to provide financial support to these exceptional scientists who are pursuing biomedical research to advance children’s health. The award-winning proposals for 2016 represent innovative and cutting edge technology in research areas that include Cancer, Neurobiology, Molecular Biology, Infectious Disease, Medical Devices, and Medical Diagnostics.

Each year The Hartwell Foundation invites a limited number of institutions in the United States to hold an internal open competition to nominate candidates from their faculty who are involved in early-stage, innovative, and cutting-edge biomedical research that has not yet qualified for significant funding from outside sources. In the 2016 competition, 17 institutions were invited to participate, including Drexel University and the University of Minnesota who competed for the first time. Based upon the Nominees submitted, the Foundation selected the top 12 researchers from ten different institutions to receive a Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award: one with an MD degree, two with an MD, Ph.D. degree, and nine with a Ph.D. degree. Notably, Johns Hopkins received three Individual Awards.

"The 2016 competition was once again very competitive, with innovative translational research that has the potential to benefit children. Nominees who achieved success leveraged internal support and guidance from their participating institution, as well as the experience of previous Hartwell Investigators," said Fred Dombrose, President of The Hartwell Foundation.

While significant early-stage funding benefits the individual researcher, participating Hartwell institutions also receive recognition in the form of a Hartwell Fellowship. For each Nominee selected for an Individual Biomedical Research Award the sponsoring participating institution receives one Hartwell Fellowship that they are asked to designate to a qualified postdoctoral researcher in the early stage of their career. Each Fellowship provides support for two years at $50,000 direct cost per year to enable specialized training in biomedical research.

“The Hartwell Foundation seeks to inspire innovation and achievement by offering individual researchers an opportunity to realize their professional goals. Our approach is to be unique, selective, thorough and accountable. We provide an opportunity for those we support to make a difference and to realize their hopes and dreams," said Fred Dombrose, President of The Hartwell Foundation.

In selecting awardees, the Foundation takes into account the compelling and transformative nature of the proposed innovation, the extent to which a strategic or translational approach might accelerate the clinical application of research results to benefit children of the United States, the extent of collaboration in the proposed research, the institutional commitment to provide encouragement and technical support to the investigator, and the extent to which funding the investigator will make a difference.

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