Accelerating Breakthrough Discoveries into Medicines

Geoffrey Pitt, MD, PHD

Geoffrey Pitt, MD, PhD is the Professor of Medicine, Neurobiology, and Pharmacology & Cancer at Duke University, the Director, Ion Chanel Research Unit, Associate Director, Cardiovascular Research Center, and Vice Chief, Section of Basic Science (Division of Cardiology) at Duke University.

Dr. Pitt completed MD-PhD training at Johns Hopkins, where he worked with Peter Devreotes studying adenylyl cyclase in Dictyostelium. He then moved to Stanford for clinical training and a postdoctoral fellowship with Richard Tsien.

Dr. Pitt’s lab studies various ion channel disorders (channelopathies) associated with cardiac arrhythmias, epilepsies, ataxias, and autism using techniques that span from x-ray crystallography to animal models and patient studies.

Dr. Pitt and his team discovered that targeted transgenic expression in osteoblasts of a CaV1.2 L-type Ca2+ channel gain-of-function mutant, whose activity can be mimicked pharmacologically with available CaV1.2 channel agonists, massively increases bone density. Dr. Pitt proposes to develop a series of compounds in which these CaV1.2 agonists are conjugated with established bone-targeting drug delivery systems to increase effective concentration in bone and reduce off-target effects on the cardiovascular system. Because osteoporosis treatment options that increase bone mass are limited, this novel approach that starts with available and effective lead compounds offers a promising avenue for therapeutic intervention.

Dates to Know

April 5, 2017
Letter of Intent Deadline

May 31, 2017
Full Application Deadline (For those invited)

December 2017
Awardees Notified

Harrington Project

The Harrington Discovery Institute is the nonprofit arm of the Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, an international initiative supporting breakthrough research by physician-scientists. The Project is a new and powerful approach to address some of the challenges hindering advancement of medicine today.

The Harrington Grant is an important part of the overall pharmaceutical research initiative created by The Harrington Project.

For Questions

For questions about the Scholar-Innovator grants or the application process, please email HDIquestions@HarringtonDiscovery.org.