The PhRMA Foundation announced the first recipients of its new funding awards in Drug Discovery and Drug Delivery, designed to support the innovative biopharmaceutical research projects of talented young scientists in the United States.

Out of nearly 400 candidates for funding, the Foundation chose a total of 16 recipients – nine for funding in Drug Discovery and seven for funding in Drug Delivery. Predoctoral fellowships will provide $25,000 per year in funding for up to two years; postdoctoral fellowships will provide $50,000 per year in funding for up to two years; and research starter grants will provide $100,000 in funding for one year. A total of more than $1 million was awarded.

“The inaugural recipients of these awards are truly among the best and brightest young scientists in the nation,” said Eileen Cannon, PhRMA Foundation President. “The caliber of the research they are engaged in is extraordinary, and we are proud to provide the level of support that will help advance their efforts towards the ultimate goal – benefiting the health of patients in need.”

Recipients of the new awards include:

Drug Discovery Predoctoral Fellowships

  • Albert Augustinus, Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Pharmacology Department
  • Lara Cheslow, Thomas Jefferson University, Neuroscience Department
  • Troy Halseth, University of Michigan, Medicinal Chemistry Department
  • Rosemary Huggins, University of Chicago, Ben May Department for Cancer Research
  • Svena Verma, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Immunology/Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Department

Drug Discovery Postdoctoral Fellowships

  • Benjamin Bell, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Neurology Department
  • Joseph Brown, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Drug Discovery Research Starter Grants

  • Jessica Fortin, DVM, PhD, Michigan State University, Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation Department
  • Srividya Swaminathan, PhD, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope, Department of Systems Biology

Drug Delivery Predoctoral Fellowships

  • Lindsay Johnson, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Biomedical Engineering Department
  • Madeleine Landry, Oregon State University, College of Pharmacy
  • Kelly Schwinghamer, University of Kansas Center for Research Inc., Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Natalie Smith, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Pharmaceutical Science

Drug Delivery Postdoctoral Fellowship

  • Dana Moseson, Purdue University, Industrial and Physical Pharmacy

Drug Delivery Research Starter Grants

  • Young Hye Song, PhD, University of Arkansas, Biomedical Engineering
  • Scott Wilson, PhD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Biomedical Engineering

“Drug Discovery remains an essential component of health care in the United States – upon which so much of the nation’s hope for medical cures rests,” said Terry L. Bowlin, PhD, Advisory Committee Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Microbiotix, Inc., who led the selection process for the Drug Discovery award candidates. “In our review of the many outstanding candidates for funding, we were impressed with their talent and dedication – and we are confident that our final recipients will make meaningful, lasting contributions to this important field.”

“Drug Delivery continues to evolve in an environment in which our understanding of human physiology is rapidly accelerating,” said Michael J. Hageman, PhD, Advisory Committee Chairman and Valentino J. Stella Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Kansas, who led the selection process for the Drug Delivery award candidates. “The Foundation’s gifted Drug Delivery award recipients will undoubtedly contribute significant advances to our ability to safely and effectively deliver new and promising therapies to patients.”

The two new grant-funding categories, announced by the Foundation last May, are part of its recent shift in mission, intended to help shape a new era of interdisciplinary research and drug development. The Foundation’s new mission, strategic goals and funding priorities have restructured the Foundation’s focus to encompass a broader interdisciplinary scope across the drug development spectrum. 

The Foundation’s new categories have been established in a way that realigns them more closely with the needs of a fast-changing drug-development environment and in support of innovative research efforts emerging across the pharmaceutical industry – shifting from a skill- and discipline-based emphasis to a broader, interdisciplinary approach.

For more information about these and other funding available from the PhRMA Foundation, please visit or email [email protected].

About the PhRMA Foundation

The mission of the PhRMA Foundation is to improve public heath by proactively investing in innovative research, education and value-driven health care. For more than 55 years, the Foundation has been helping advance scientific research and innovation to benefit patients. Since its founding in 1965, it has distributed more than $99 million to support these efforts. The PhRMA Foundation accomplishes its mission by investing in three key areas: core programming, value assessment initiative and a new program under development in the use and application of Data and Technology in Health Care. The PhRMA Foundation’s core programs of Drug Delivery, Drug Discovery, Health Outcomes Research and Translational Medicine encourage young scientists to pursue research as their career choice and assists in training the next generation of innovators.  The PhRMA Foundation's emphasis on evidence-based research that determines the true value of medicines is supported by its Value Assessment Initiative. To learn more, please visit