For the 12th year, The Hartwell Foundation – an organization that grants awards for innovative and cutting-edge biomedical research directed toward children’s health – has named the University of Virginia a “Top Ten Center of Biomedical Research.”
The significance? The Hartwell Foundation invites each Top Ten Center to nominate up to three researchers for a Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award for early-stage, cutting-edge biomedical research with the potential to benefit children.
The award is intended to inspire innovation and achievement among exceptional scientists and engineers at leading research institutions. The award provides funding to individual researchers at Top Ten Centers for three years at $100,000 direct cost per year. Additionally, the distinction qualifies UVA to earn a Hartwell Postdoctoral Fellowship, which provides support for two years at $50,000 for an early-stage scientist’s specialized training in biomedical research.
“Great news that we remain in the top 10 biomedical centers list with the Hartwell Foundation,” said Melur K. “Ram” Ramasubramanian, UVA’s vice president for research. “This gives us the privilege to nominate excellent faculty for research awards and to complete with the best of the best. To be recognized as a member of this group of elite universities is a testament to our outstanding faculty and students, their sustained excellence in scholarship, and an excellent support system for translational research.”
The other institutions named by the foundation as top 10 centers this year are: Case Western Reserve University; Cornell University; Duke University; Johns Hopkins University; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; University of California, Davis; University of California, San, Diego; the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Next April, the foundation will announce at least 10 individuals from its Top Ten Centers to receive 2018 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards.
Earlier this month, The Hartwell Foundation granted UVA biochemist and molecular geneticist Sanchita Bhatnagar a 2017 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award for her research on brain disorders that develop during childhood.
In selecting each research center of excellence, The Hartwell Foundation takes into account the shared values the institution has with the foundation 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.