University Named Top Biomedical Research Center

Case Western Reserve University earned an at-large bid in The Hartwell Foundation’s Top Ten Centers of Biomedical Research. Ten institutions, including Cornell University and The Johns Hopkins University, earned spots on the list, while Case Western Reserve and Yale University are the only two at-large participants. This is the first year Case Western Reserve has been selected for participation.

Case Western Reserve is eligible to nominate two individuals for the Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards, which provide funding to individual researchers in the U.S. for three years, at $100,000 direct cost per year. Each year, the foundation funds 10 Hartwell Investigators for their innovative, early-stage, cutting-edge biomedical research that has the potential to benefit children––high-risk research that, if successful, will be transformative, explained Fred Dombrose, president of The Hartwell Foundation.

“We are truly honored to be included on this prestigious list,” said Lynn Singer, deputy provost and vice president for academic affairs. “But the importance lies not only in being part of a top echelon group, but in the opportunity it could provide to our exceptional researchers whose research is in the early stages and cannot receive traditional funding.”

In selecting each research center of excellence, The Hartwell Foundation takes into account the shared values the institution has relating to children's health, the presence of an associated medical school and biomedical engineering program, and the quality and scope of ongoing biomedical research. The foundation also considers the institutional commitment to support collaboration, provide encouragement and extend technical support to the investigator, especially as related to translational approaches and technology transfer that could promote rapid clinical application of research results.

“We are pleased to include Case Western Reserve in the 2011 competition. The university shares our values, and together, we will seek to inspire innovation and achievement,” Dombrose said.

One former Hartwell Investigator is Michael Wolfe, the Charles H. Rammelkamp Jr. Chair at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, professor of physiology and biophysics, and Department of Medicine chair at MetroHealth. Wolfe, who joined MetroHealth in December, received funding in 2007 while a faculty member at Boston University for his proposal “Peptide Replacement Therapy Using Transgenic Stem Cells Delivered to the Small Intestine.”

Wolfe said The Hartwell Foundation’s funding is crucial to the future of research, and that the work being done by Hartwell Investigators represents “truly amazing translational science.”

“The funding of my project enabled us to develop our project and procure the necessary preliminary data to the point of applying for federal funding,” Wolfe explained. “I am most pleased by the selection of Case Western Reserve University as a Hartwell Institution and look forward to future interactions with my fellow Hartwell scholars and members of the Hartwell Foundation Scientific Board.”

Requests for proposals will soon be sought from individuals from any CWRU department, school or college. Candidates should hold a full-time appointment, and be eligible to serve as a principal investigator in early-stage, innovative, strategic or translational biomedical research with the potential to benefit children of the United States. The internal competition to select two Case Western Reserve nominees will be complete by October, and nominations are due to The Hartwell Foundation by Nov. 1. Individual awards will be announced in April 2012.

Posted by: Patricia Schellenbach, May 16, 2011 06:39 PM | News Topics: Official Release