Newswise — CLEVELAND – The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, today announced the 2020 class of Harrington Scholar-Innovators, which includes the Institute’s first Canadian Scholar. The grants will support a range of drug discovery projects including novel therapies for treating Alzheimer’s, Prion disease, cancer, lung diseases, resistant tuberculosis, and rare genetic disorders.  

The Harrington Discovery Institute—part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development—was established to accelerate the development of new medicines to address unmet patient needs. Harrington Scholar-Innovators are accomplished physician-scientists whose research demonstrates innovation, creativity and potential for impact. In addition to grant funding, Harrington Discovery Institute provides guidance and oversight in all aspects of drug development, while taking no rights to intellectual property, which is retained by the scholar and their institution.

“Supporting the work of physician-scientists is the foundational mission of the institute. With this class of Scholar-Innovators, we will invest more resources in individual programs than in previous years, to more effectively progress discoveries toward clinical trials. We continue to evolve and grow our model to best address the major unmet needs in medicine and society,” said Jonathan S. Stamler, MD, President, Harrington Discovery Institute and Robert S. and Sylvia K. Reitman Family Foundation Distinguished Chair of Cardiovascular Innovation at University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.  

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 enable the transition of their work into the private sector. They also have facilitated access to BioMotiv, the mission-aligned development company that is part of The Harrington Project.

The 2020 Harrington Scholar-Innovator Award recipients, their organizations and fields of research are:

Rizwan Haq, MD, PhD - Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (U.S.)

A small molecule that targets cancers with dysregulated KEAP-NRF2 signaling


Michael Holtzman, MD - Washington University (U.S.)

A new drug to correct epithelial stem cell reprogramming in airway disease


Kyu Rhee, MD, PhD - Weill Cornell Medical College (U.S.)

New and selective inhibitors of tuberculosis


Stephen Strittmatter, MD, PhD - Yale University (U.S.)

Prion Protein Antagonist for Alzheimer’s Disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease


Donald Weaver, MD, PhD, FRCP(C) - University Health Network (Canada)

Targeting Immunopathy to treat Alzheimer’s Disease


Timothy Yu, MD, PhD - Boston Children’s Hospital (U.S.)

Personalized splice-modulating oligonucleotide therapy for Niemann-Pick Disease

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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 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.

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University Hospitals

Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of patients through an integrated network of 18 hospitals, more than 50 health centers and outpatient facilities, and 200 physician offices in 16 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located 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; University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute, a high-volume national referral center for complex cardiovascular procedures; 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 28,000 physicians and employees.  Advancing the Science of Health and the Art of Compassion is UH’s vision for benefitting its patients into the future, and the organization’s unwavering mission is To Heal. To Teach. To Discover. Follow UH on LinkedIn, Facebook @UniversityHospitals and Twitter @UHhospitals. For more information, visit