2017 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards

Official Announcement

2017 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards

Memphis, TN, April 01, 2018 — The Hartwell Foundation today officially announced the recipients of the 2017 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:

  • Mandeep S. Singh, MD, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Ophthalmology, Johns Hopkins University for Stem Cell Cytoplasmic Transfer to Cure Inherited Blindness
  • Panagiotis “Panos” Ntziachristos, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Northwestern University for Splicing Errors and Drug Resistance in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  • Sanchita Bhatnagar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Virginia for Rescuing the Expression of Healthy Genes from the Dormant X Chromosome in Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • David Stitelman, MD, Assistant Professor Surgery, Yale University for Fetal Cure for Spina Bifida
  • Jennifer Adair, Ph.D., Assistant Member Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for Engineering a Simplified Universal Delivery Method for Gene Therapy
  • Anthony Rongvaux, Ph.D. Assistant Member Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for Reprogramming Tumor‐Infiltrating Macrophages for the Treatment of Brain Cancer
  • Tse Nga “Tina” Ng, Ph.D., Associate Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of California, San Diego for Point-of-Care Biomechanical Device for Quantitative Assessment of Spasticity
  • Vivek Balasubramaniam, MD, Associate Professor Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin-Madison for Application of Cellular-Derived Therapies for the Regeneration of Lung Structure and Function
  • Robert R. Redfield, MD, Assistant Professor Surgery, University of Wisconsin-Madison for Genetically Engineered Porcine Islets for the Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes
  • Nicholas “Nick” Heaton, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University for Targeting Virally Induced Inflammation to Prevent the Development of Asthma
  • Shinjae Chung, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania for Remedying Sleep Disturbances in Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • John C. “Chip” Tilton, MD, Associate Professor Nutrition Case Western Reserve University for Enzyme Replacement Therapy for Inborn Errors of Metabolism

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 2017 represent innovative and cutting-edge technology from Medicine and Biomedical Engineering, in research areas that include Cancer, Medical Devices, Medical Diagnostics, 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. In the 2017 competition, 17 institutions were invited to participate. Based upon the Nominees submitted, the Foundation selected the top 12 researchers from ten different institutions to receive a Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award. Notably, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Wisconsin-Madison each received two Individual Awards.


“The 2017 competition was once again very competitive, with diversity in strategic innovation and translational research that offer the potential to impact directly healthcare outcomes to benefit children. Nominees who received an award 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.

For additional information see www.thehartwellfoundation.org