The Hartwell Foundation


2013 Class Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards

Memphis, TN, April 01, 2014 -- The Hartwell Foundation today officially announced the winners of 2013 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards,  which offer support for three years at $100,000 direct cost per year. Eleven individuals representing nine institutions were selected as Hartwell Investigators; one institution received multiple awards:

  • Roberto Fernández Galán, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Case Western Reserve University for "Cortical Network Dynamics and Epileptiform Activity in Autism: From Animal Models to Children."
  • Judy A. Van de Water, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, Davis for "Therapeutic Strategy for Maternal Autoantibody-Related Autism."
  • Mary Jo Harbert, MD, Assistant Member, Department of Neurosciences, University of California, San Diego for "Brain Activity During Birth for Prediction of Newborns at Risk for Brain Injury."
  • Ariella Shikanov, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan for "Engineering a Construct to Recover Endocrine Function in Children with Ovarian Failure."
  • Edward M. Gong, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Urology, Northwestern University for "Harnessing the Regenerative Capability of Bladder Smooth Muscle Progenitor Stem Cells to Restore Function to the Obstructed Bladder."
  • Scott E. Snyder, Ph.D., Assistant Member, Department of Radiological Sciences, St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, for "High-Resolution Imaging Methods for Neuroblastoma: Improving Tumor Detection and Guiding Therapy Decisions."
  • Jennifer J. Kohler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, for "Inhibition of Mucus Hypersecretion as a Therapeutic Approach for Respiratory Disease."
  • Erin Pennock Foff, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, University of Virginia for "Nucleotide Repeat Disorders: Rescuing Misregulated MicroRNA With Targeted Drug Therapy."
  • Sarah Kucenas, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of Virginia for "Promoting Nervous System Self-Repair to Treat Peripheral Neurodegeneration and Demyelination in Children."
  • Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Ophthalmology, University of Virginia for "Modulating Immune Cell Dysregulation in Autoimmune-Associated Uveitis."
  • Vineet Bhandari, MD, D.M., Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Yale University for "Surfactant-Enhanced Delivery of Silencing Ribonucleic Acid to Prevent Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia."

The Hartwell Foundation is pleased to provide financial support to these exceptional scientists and engineers who are pursuing biomedical research to advance children’s health. The twelve award winning research proposals in 2013 represent innovative and cutting edge technology from research areas that include Cancer, Medical Diagnostics, Medical Devices, Imaging, Molecular Biology, Neurobiology, Physiology and Tissue Engineering.

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. Based upon the Nominees submitted by participating institutions, the Foundation selects the top candidates to receive a Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award. Notably, in the 2013 Class the University of Virginia received three Awards and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center received two Awards. Northwestern University received an Award in its first year of participation.

"In the 2013 competition it was evident once again that Nominees who achieved success were well prepared as a result of leveraging the internal support and guidance of their participating institution, as well as the experience of other Hartwell Investigators," said Fred Dombrose, President of The Hartwell Foundation.

"The Hartwell process is very competitive. While the benefit to the individual researcher is evident by significant early-stage funding, participating institutions also share recognition by receiving Hartwell Fellowships," he said.

For each Nominee selected for a Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award the sponsoring participating institution receives a Hartwell Fellowship to fund one postdoctoral candidate of their choice who exemplifies the values of the Foundation. Hartwell Fellowships offer support for two years at $50,000 direct cost per year to support scientists in the early stages of their research careers by enabling them to pursue further specialized training as part of professional career development.

The Hartwell Foundation seeks to inspire innovation and achievement by offering individual researchers an opportunity to realize their professional goals. In selecting awardees, The Hartwell 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.


2013 Hartwell Investigator Ed Gong, MD, Northwestern University

2013 Hartwell Investigator Erin Foff, MD, Ph.D., University of Virginia

2013 Hartwell Investigator Sarah Kucenas, Ph.D., University of Virginia

2013 Hartwell Investigator Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Ph.D., University of Virginia

2013 Hartwell Investigator Roberto Galán, Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

2013 Hartwell Investigator Mary Jo Harbert, MD, University of California, San Diego

2013 Hartwell Investigator Judy Van de Water, Ph.D., University of California, Davis

2013 Hartwell Investigator Jennifer Kohler, Ph.D., University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

2013 Hartwell Investigator Vineet Bhandari, MD, D.M., Yale University

2013 Hartwell Investigator Ariella Shikanov, Ph.D., University of Michigan

2013 Hartwell Investigator Scott Snyder, Ph.D., St Jude Children's Research Hospital

Individual Biomedical
Research Awards

Top Ten Centers