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Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals announces 2018 grant funding to 10 physician-scientists


News Release

Department of Marketing and Communications
11100 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106

Contact: George Stamatis
Phone: 216-844-3667


Harrington Scholar-Innovator awards advance drug discoveries by providing access to financial support and critical drug development resources

January 18, 2018, Cleveland, Ohio – The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, today announced the 2018 Harrington Scholar-Innovator Award recipients. The awards support breakthrough discoveries in diverse research areas including cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and addiction.

The Harrington Discovery Institute – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development – fulfills an unmet need in academic medicine: to advance early breakthroughs into the clinical realm. Award recipients are selected for the promise of their research to advance standards of care in medicine, regardless of their institution affiliation.

In addition to financial support awarded to the winners, the Harrington Discovery Institute provides guidance in all aspects of drug discovery from its Innovation Support Center. This is a team of pharmaceutical industry experts who oversee the therapeutic development of Scholar programs. While working with the Harrington Discovery Institute, physician-scientists (and their institutions) retain the intellectual property for their work.

“This extraordinary group of physician-scientists constitutes our sixth class of Harrington Scholar-Innovators. We selected these projects from a highly competitive pool of applications based on their potential to advance from discoveries into medicines that will improve human health,” said Jonathan Stamler, MD, President of the Harrington Discovery Institute.

The selected scholars have access to several rounds of capital (up to a total of $700,000) through their affiliation with the Harrington Discovery Institute to support the transition of their work into the private sector. Scholars are then free to approach investors of their choice to underwrite the commercialization of their work. They also have facilitated access to BioMotiv, the mission-aligned development company that is part of The Harrington Project. However, there are no obligations on either side.

“We hear from our scholars that the tailored guidance they receive throughout the program and the connection to a for-profit accelerator are vital to success,” added Dr. Stamler. “We know that our model works, and we are pleased to see the results, which to date include launching twenty companies, assisting five programs in entering the clinic, and licensing five technologies to big pharma.”

The 2018 Harrington Scholar-Innovator Award recipients are:

Suneet Agarwal, MD, PhD - Boston Children's Hospital
Modulators of telomere diseases

Jeffrey Glenn, MD, PhD - Stanford University School of Medicine
A broad spectrum single dose therapeutic to treat flu

Wayne Lencer, MD - Boston Children's Hospital
Novel strategy to treat type 2 diabetes

Robert Messing, MD - University of Texas at Austin
New therapeutic to treat pain and addiction

Victor Schuster, MD - Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Targeting nonalcoholic liver diseases

Bhuvanesh Singh, MD, PhD - Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Novel agents to treat cancers of the head, neck, and lung

David Sykes, MD, PhD - Massachusetts General Hospital
Developing new treatments for leukemia

Marc Wein, MD, PhD - Massachusetts General Hospital
A new therapeutic to prevent osteoporosis

Adrian Wiestner, MD, PhD - NHLBI/NIH
Enhancing the potency of antibody therapeutics for cancer

Mone Zaidi, MD, PhD - Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
A single agent to treat obesity and osteoporosis


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Harrington Discovery Institute
The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, OH – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development – aims to advance medicine and society by enabling our nation’s most inventive scientists to turn their discoveries into medicines that improve human health. The institute was created in 2012 with a $50 million founding gift from the Harrington family and instantiates the commitment they share with University Hospitals to a Vision for a ‘Better World’.

The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development
The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development (The Harrington Project), founded in late February 2012 by the Harrington Family and University Hospitals of Cleveland, is a $300 million national initiative built to bridge the translational valley of death. It includes the Harrington Discovery Institute and BioMotiv, a for-profit, mission-aligned drug development company that accelerates early discovery into pharma pipelines.

For more information about The Harrington Project and the Harrington Discovery Institute, visit:

University Hospitals
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 18 hospitals, more than 40 outpatient health centers and 200 physician offices in 15 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located on a 35-acre campus in Cleveland’s University Circle, is affiliated with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The main campus also includes University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the nation; University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital, Ohio's only hospital for women; and University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, part of the NCI-designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. UH is home to some of the most prestigious clinical and research programs in the nation, including cancer, pediatrics, women's health, orthopedics, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, digestive health, transplantation and urology. UH Cleveland Medical Center is perennially among the highest performers in national ranking surveys, including “America’s Best Hospitals” from U.S. News & World Report. UH is also home to Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. UH is one of the largest employers in Northeast Ohio with 26,000 employees. Follow UH on Facebook @UniversityHospitals and Twitter @UHhospitals.For more information, go to