Call for Scholars: Gund-Harrington National Initiative for Fighting Blindness

August 1, 2017


The Harrington Project Foundation Fighting Blindness






News Release

August 1, 2017

$900,000 in Funding and Mentoring with Internationally Renowned Drug Development Leaders

Cleveland – The National Center for Excellence in Fighting Blindness, a Gund-Harrington Initiative, has opened its fourth annual Gund-Harrington Scholar Award competition to support innovative research efforts that seek to prevent, treat or cure blindness.

The Gund-Harrington Initiative is a collaboration between Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) and the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development.

In addition to funding, award recipients receive drug development and project management support through the Harrington Discovery Institute’s Innovation Support Center for the duration of the term of the award. This includes hands-on industry guidance from experienced pharmaceutical development professionals, as well as regulatory, intellectual property and business development assistance not found in traditional academic research settings.

This award is open to PhD and MD researchers at accredited academic medical centers, research institutions and universities in the United States and Canada. Multidisciplinary discovery with potential application to the eye is being sought, as are investigators studying fundamental processes with multidisciplinary applications and rare inherited retinal diseases.

Gund-Harrington Scholars will receive:

  • Funding totaling up to $900,000 over three years based on progress made toward milestones 
  • Committed drug development and project management support through Harrington Discovery Institute’s Innovation Support Center for the duration of the three-year term

Gund-Harrington Scholars also have facilitated access to BioMotiv – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development – a for-profit commercialization company that is aligned with the Harrington Discovery Institute in mission and structure. BioMotiv was created to further advance discoveries by academic researchers in areas of unmet need.

Letters of Intent are accepted through October 25, 2017.

For more information or to apply, please visit

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Contact information:

For Harrington Discovery Institute
George Stamatis

For Foundation Fighting Blindness
Rhea K. Farberman
Senior Director of Communications and Marketing

Foundation Fighting Blindness has a broad network and deep domain expertise in inherited retinal diseases, a set of programs for funding discoveries and advancing them toward clinical studies, and a robust pipeline of funded projects that represent new therapeutic opportunities. The foundation is funding startup companies and for-profit initiatives through its establishment of the Clinical Research Institute (the CRI), a not-for-profit subsidiary, which can partner to provide substantial later-stage funding for high-potential projects. The Foundation Fighting Blindness is supporting several clinical trials, and many additional gene and stem cell-based human studies could begin in the next several years. For more information, please visit

Harrington Discovery Institute
Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development – aims to advance medicine and society by enabling our nation’s most inventive physician-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 late February 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.

For more information about The Harrington Project and Harrington Discovery Institute, visit:

University Hospitals
Founded in 1866, University Hospitals serves the needs of over 1 million patients per year through an integrated network of 18 hospitals, more than 40 outpatient health centers and 200 physician offices in 15 counties throughout northern Ohio. The system’s flagship academic medical center, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, located on a 35-acre campus 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; 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, dermatology, 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 the second largest employer in northern Ohio with 26,000 employees. For more information, go to


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