U.Va. Site of 2013 Hartwell Foundation Conference for Top Ten Centers of Biomedical Research

May 15, 2012 — The University of Virginia and The Hartwell Foundation are expanding their long-standing relationship, with the announcement that the foundation has selected Charlottesville as the site of its 2013 Annual Meeting of Biomedical Research.

The conference will be held Oct. 6-9, 2013 at the Boar's Head Inn. "All currently funded Hartwell Investigators will come from across the nation to present their research," Thomas C. Skalak, U.Va. vice president for research, said. "This is very exciting for our innovation ecosystem, because the Hartwell Investigators are among the most pioneering and creative biomedical researchers in the world. This networking event often leads to new collaborations and breakthroughs in children's health."

"The Hartwell Foundation seeks to inspire innovation and achievement, which are values shared by the University of Virginia since the time of its originator, Thomas Jefferson," said Fred Dombrose, the foundation's president. "We look forward to Hartwell Investigators meeting at such an appropriate location."

The Hartwell Foundation has also named U.Va. as a Top Ten Center for Biomedical Research and awarded 2011 Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Awards to two U.Va. researchers. This year 12 individuals, representing nine institutions, were selected as Hartwell Investigators. U.Va. is among three institutions that received two awards.

The awards, which provide $100,000 in annual research support for three years to each Hartwell Investigator, went to biomedical/mechanical engineer Silvia Salinas Blemker of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and to biologist Christopher Deppmann in the College of Arts & Sciences. (Read more about their research and the awards here.)

Since 2007, The Hartwell Foundation has awarded a total of $2 million to U.Va. researchers trying to solve children's health issues such as cleft palate, metabolic disorders and obesity, low-cost prevention and treatment of neonatal bowel disease, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and targeted delivery of chemotherapy in brain tumors.

Each year, The Hartwell Foundation announces its selection of the Top Ten Centers of Biomedical Research in the United States, inviting each center to hold an internal open competition to identify four faculty nominees based on early-stage, innovative and cutting-edge biomedical research that has not yet qualified for significant funding from outside sources. Top Ten research institutions that fully participate in The Hartwell Foundation nomination process also receive a Hartwell Biomedical Research Fellowship to fund one postdoctoral candidate of their choice for two years. U.Va. has been chosen among the Hartwell Top Ten and received fellowships every year since 2007.

U.Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan said U.Va. is grateful to be a partner with The Hartwell Foundation. "We continue to place a high priority on funding early-stage and innovative biomedical research, particularly when it may lead to advancements in children's health," she said.