You've just added:

Paving the Way Forward – 2023 Scientific Symposium

Posted on August 08, 2023

Jump to Related Videos

For the first time in four years, Harrington Discovery Institute celebrated innovative science and collaboration with pharmaceutical expertise in-person at the 2023 Scientific Symposium. At the event held on May 25 and 26, President Jonathan Stamler, MD, and benefactor Ron Harrington emphasized Harrington’s unique ability to discover brilliant science in academic labs and advance innovations to commercialization, all through an international community of inspiring leaders with a shared goal – to create new medicines and improve the science of health.

A $50 million transformative gift in 2012 from Ron and Nancy Harrington and their children Jill, Ron and Lydia Harrington, made possible the vision of Dr. Stamler, to support physician-scientists – and later all scientists – in advancing their discoveries into medicines. Harrington Discovery Institute was established as the first academic institute to use a blended non-profit and for-profit model to create new medicines.

“Our capacity for innovation is different because our approach is unique, our expertise is vast. We adapt continuously, and we work with some of the brightest scientific minds when it comes to advancing promising science into treatments and cures." - Ronald G. Harrington, Philanthropist and Entrepreneur

This unique approach bridges the gap between scientific discoveries that take place in academic science labs with pharmaceutical expertise to advance medicines reaching the bedside of patients. Since 2012, Harrington Discovery Institute has built a diverse portfolio of discoveries with a strategy of concentrating resources on projects with the best chance of success bringing total wins to include: 177 discoveries; 64 institutions supported; 36 companies launched; 19 medicines in clinical trials; and 13 licenses to pharmaceutical companies.

Harrington Discovery Institute’s impact is strengthened and amplified by partners in our hometown and around the globe including Morgan Stanley GIFT CURES powered by Harrington Discovery Institute, the University of Oxford – partners in the Oxford-Harrington Rare Disease Centre, The American Society for Clinical Investigation, Foundation Fighting Blindness, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, and the physicians and scientists from academic medical institutes across the US, Canada and the UK.

Jonathan S. Stamler, MD, President, Harrington Discovery Institute, Robert S. & Sylvia K. Reitman Family Foundation Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Innovation, summarized 2022 accomplishments rooted in Harrington’s focus on the basics. The basics of coming together to connect, inform, and accelerate the discoveries that can change the face of medicine.

  • Harrington Discovery Institute is fueled by its mission of accelerate promising discoveries into medicines for unmet needs. Harrington has four innovation centers fulfilling that mission, including Major Diseases, Brain Health Medicines, Rare Diseases and COVID-19.
  • Within each Center, there are high-performing programs that support scientists with critical funding and a team of advisors with experience in drug development and commercialization.
  • At the heart of Harrington is its Therapeutic Development Center, which includes drug developers and project managers who help advance Harrington Scholar discoveries. This unique group supports Harrington’s efforts in creating new medicines, developing and strengthening intellectual property, submitting INDs, enabling commercial opportunities and financing, and more.
  • Harrington’s partners are equally as prized as its Scholars and team, with a common thread of accelerating new medicines. Notably, the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, Takeda, and the University of Oxford are examples of powerful collaborations that helped Harrington set new standards for academic impact in 2022.
  • Financial means of advancing innovations has evolved beyond grant funding at Harrington. While grant and equity monies have funded many dozens of possible medicines, nearly 100 Harrington Scholars have received follow-on grants that take minimal or no right. Many have received venture investments including BioMotiv and the Advent-Harrington Impact Fund, which has expanded Harrington’s mission and enhanced outcomes.
"At its most basic level, our future operating plan is simply to ensure we always have numerous creative people, working on numerous novel projects, to build bridges connecting excellence in drug development to capability in capital allocation." - Jonathan S. Stamler, MD

Throughout the two-day virtual symposium, scholar presentations and keynote lectures focused on drug discovery and development. Additionally, there was discussion around attracting investment to advance projects into medicines, highlighting the importance of Harrington Discovery Institute and its unique approach.

  • Benjamin Gaston, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine, 2016 Harrington Scholar-Innovator, and 2020 Harrington Scholar for Coronavirus, spoke about his discovery of a new class of endogenous respiratory signaling molecules active in the brainstem and carotid body.
  • Robert J. Lefkowitz, MD, Investigator, HHMI, Duke University Medical Center reflected on his experience of receiving the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, as well as his decades of being a physician-scientist and mentor.
  • Seth Field, MD, PhD, Director, Harrington Physician-Scientist programs, introduced the 2023 Harrington Prize co-recipient, Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, before she delivered her presentation, “Genes as Medicine: From Concept to Practice.” Dr. Bennett received the 2023 Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine alongside Albert M. Maguire, MD.
  • A panel session titled "The Harrington Model in Action: An Insider's Look at a Scholar Team" was moderated by Diana Wetmore, PhD, Vice President, Therapeutics Development Center. The panel consisted of Justin Ichida, PhD, University of Southern California, 2018 Harrington Rare Disease Scholar, his lead Harrington Advisor Stephen Brenner, PhD, Therapeutics Development Center, and members from the Harrington Investment Advisory Board, Graeme Martin, PhD and John Rice, PhD. Together, this team has helped Dr. Ichida's discovery move closer to commercialization.

Watch 2023 Symposium Lectures here.

To learn more about next year’s event, contact

Related Videos

2023 Scientific Symposium Welcome & Update

2023 Scientific Symposium: Message from the Harrington Family

Novel Agent to Accelerate Ventilator Weaning for Patients with COVID-19 Lung Infection

Genes as Medicine: From Concept to Practice – Keynote from 2023 Scientific Symposium

The Harrington Model in Action: An Insider’s Look at a Scholar Team

We have updated our Online Services Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. See our Cookies Notice for information concerning our use of cookies and similar technologies. By using this website or clicking “I ACCEPT”, you consent to our Online Services Terms of Use.