Accelerating Breakthrough Discoveries into Medicines

David J. Milan, MD

Dr. Milan is developing a therapy to treat long QT syndrome.

David Milan is a Cardiac Electrophysiologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Assistant Professor at the Harvard Medical School.

Long QT syndrome is an inherited disease affecting otherwise healthy individuals and causing an increased risk of fainting and sudden death. Patients are treated with beta-blocking agents to reduce their risk but despite this treatment, 25% will go on to have fainting or sudden death. Implantable defibrillators are used for the highest risk patients, but these devices carry significant risks and complications over time.

Despite 20 years of study, no treatments exist that address the underlying problem of the prolonged QT interval. Previous efforts have suffered from the possibility of overcorrecting the QT interval producing a short QT syndrome which can be as dangerous as long QT syndrome itself.

The Milan Lab has discovered a novel compound class that shortens the QT interval in multiple long QT models. Unlike previous efforts, our compound displays a self-limited effect on the QT interval that prevents the short QT syndrome. The target of these new compounds is a potassium channel which is partially activated when bound by our compounds. Patient affected by long QT would take this medication to correct the prolonged QT interval and reduce their risk of fainting and sudden death.

He studied Chemistry at Stanford University before working for two years in the pharmaceutical industry. He then performed his medical school training at Harvard Medical School, performing research in the laboratory of Dr. Frank McKeon. His medical residency training was performed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital followed by cardiology and cardiac electrophysiology training at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition to caring for patients at MGH, he directs a basic science laboratory which studies the molecular basis of cardiac arrhythmias as well as the developmental basis for cardiac valve disease.

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.