Harvard Business School Announces 2022-2023 Kaplan Fellows – News

BOSTON—Harvard Business School (HBS) has announced this year’s recipients of the Robert S. Kaplan (MBA 1983) Life Sciences Fellowship. Established in 2008, the scholarship was established by Robert S. Kaplan, who served as President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and was the Martin Marshall Professor of Practice at HBS.

The Kaplan Fellowship encourages students with credentials in the life science disciplines to attend HBS by awarding incoming MBA students up to $20,000. Previous recipients of the award have demonstrated academic scholarly achievement and professional leadership roles in the industry. This year, many recipients are joint degree students in the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program, which builds on students’ existing biotech and life sciences knowledge and equips them with the latest business and scientific insights. Kaplan Fellows express a strong commitment to pursuing a life science career after graduation, including applying for and completing the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship, which allows HBS alumni to build a life science project while developing their leadership talents.

“This year’s Kaplan Fellows begin their HBS journeys with diverse academic backgrounds and will add tremendous value to the school as well as the Boston business and biotech communities,” said Robert Huckman, Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration and Howard Cox Health Care Initiative Faculty chairman. “It is exciting to welcome this new generation of leaders to Harvard’s thriving life science ecosystem.”

The 2022-2023 Kaplan Fellows are:

Gabriella (Beauty) of Iron (MS/MBA 2024)
Before HBS, Bella worked for five years in the biotech industry as a scientist. She started her career at Genentech, where she learned the steps necessary to create and scale up end-to-end manufacturing processes for large molecule biotherapeutics. Most recently, she has transitioned to the cell therapy area to support the development of analytical methods for early stage T-cell therapies. Outside the lab, she acted on her passion for diversity and inclusion to help spearhead relationships with historically black colleges and universities with the goal of increasing minority representation in the biotech industry. As an MS/MBA biotechnology graduate, Bella is excited to “bridge the gap between science and business by combining my engineering background with the HBS curriculum and ultimately launch new drugs that benefit underserved patient populations.”

Aaron Edwards (MS/MBA 2024)
Aaron joins HBS after nearly a decade as a scientist at several companies across Boston’s biotech sector. His passion for developing innovative therapies to help patients suffering from serious diseases led him to work on mRNA vaccines at Novartis, gene therapies at bluebird bio and most recently on gene-edited CAR-T programs at Beam Therapeutics. “Joining the third cohort of the MS/MBA: Biotechnology Program as a Kaplan Fellow is an opportunity that I do not take lightly,” says Aaron. “With the next generation of startup companies being formed almost daily in the area, there is a great need for leaders who not only have a strong drive to alleviate human suffering, but also a uniquely tailored education and training to take on such a tall task.”

Adam Esposito (MBA 2024)
Adam comes to HBS after eight years at Moderna, where he worked in early R&D. There he designed nanotechnologies to deliver mRNA drugs into the body. He is proud to have contributed to one of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the world and Moderna’s first commercial product. Outside the lab, Adam championed program development efforts exploring new uses of mRNA in oncology. Adam said, “As a Kaplan Fellow, I hope to leverage my scientific background and business training to ultimately lower the barriers to bringing new medicines to patients in need.”

Claudia Hill, PhD (MS/MBA 2024) )
Before HBS, Claudia obtained a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Oxford University’s Center of Drug Delivery and Devices, an interdisciplinary research environment that combined biology, chemistry, and medical device engineering with the goal of improving drug delivery. Her dissertation explored ways to improve the pharmacokinetics and targeting of oncolytic (cancer-killing) viruses, and her research was disseminated through peer-reviewed publications as well as a book chapter in Oncolytic Virotherapy. In addition to her academic work, she co-founded Neumind, a digital health company working to provide accessible, world-class rehabilitation therapy for patients with brain injuries and neurological conditions. Claudia said, “I am excited to combine my technical knowledge and strategic expertise through the MS/MBA Biotechnology program, while using the incredible Harvard resources to fulfill my ambition to deliver world-class treatments to patients in an equitable manner. ”

Nidhin Laji, MD (MBA 2024)
Nidhin graduated in medicine from King’s College London and completed her basic residency at Cambridge University Hospitals. While in training, Nidhin raised funding from Trinity College Cambridge and Judge Business School to patent a software algorithm that uses 3D printing to help surgeons perform aortic arch reconstructions in newborns. After retiring from clinical practice, Nidhin worked as a life science consultant at Charles River Associates where he led strategy teams and advised biopharmaceutical clients on commercial strategy, pricing and market entry. Nidhin said, “As an MBA candidate, I am excited to build on my experience quantifying unmet needs and working with academics to deliver therapies that will meaningfully change standards of care.”

Dalia Laredo (MBA 2024)
Prior to HBS, Dalia worked in clinical R&D at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals researching the formulation development of cancer immunotherapies. Dalia is a chemical and biomedical engineer from Carnegie Mellon University with experience in four academic laboratories. Among this research, she has studied collagen fatigue in Achilles tendons with ex vivo tissue models and investigated the mechanical properties of graphene nanosheets. Dalia volunteers for the American Cancer Society and for Yonkers Partners in Education as a scientific research mentor. Dalia said, “I am most looking forward to joining and advancing a healthcare community focused on increasing access and equity in medicine.”

Michael Lee (MS/MBA 2024)
Michael has spent the last six years as a scientist in early-stage biotech companies, helping to lead the R&D pipeline in diagnostics and therapeutics. He started his career at Stratos Genomics where he developed new chemistry to improve the speed, accuracy and cost of DNA sequencing. Following a successful acquisition from Roche, Michael joined an RNA-targeted gene therapy start-up, Shape Therapeutics, helping to develop their adeno-associated virus platform to create tailored viruses that precisely and safely deliver human gene therapies. As an MS/MBA biotechnology graduate, Michael said he is “humbled by the support of the Kaplan Fellowship and looks forward to becoming an empowering leader in the biotechnology field to innovate and democratize healthcare for underserved communities around the world.”

Julia Lord (MS/MBA 2024)
Prior to HBS, Julia spent five years in the life sciences industry, first as a strategy consultant at ClearView Healthcare Partners before moving to bluebird bio as a member of the strategy and business development team. At bluebird, she worked closely with the early research teams to build next generation gene therapy products such as reduced toxicity conditioning methods and direct administration of viral vectors. As a Kaplan Fellow, Julia said, “I am excited to explore the intersection of science and business more deeply through the MS/MBA program and look forward to working with early-stage biotech companies to bring new transformative therapies to patients.”

Calvin Marambo (MS/MBA 2024)
Growing up in Tanzania, Calvin’s passion for scientific research developed from a desire to help solve his community’s medical challenges. As a bioengineering student at Harvard College, he sought opportunities to learn how to use scientific tools to solve complex medical problems such as multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis and pediatric oncology. He spent time at the Wyss Institute researching biomaterials for drug delivery to help improve emergency wound care for burn-injured service members. Prior to HBS, Calvin worked in formulation discovery at Moderna, where he developed lipid nanoparticles (the vehicles that protect the delicate mRNAs and deliver them to the desired cells) to deliver mRNA vaccines and therapeutics. He also worked at Alkermes to support the discovery and development of drug candidates (small molecules and biologics) for diseases of the central nervous system and oncology. Calvin is pursuing the MS/MBA biotechnology program and said he hopes “to use his scientific and business skills to impact patients.”

Eric Rasmussen (MBA 2024)
Prior to HBS, Erik worked on the COVID-19 manufacturing and supply programs for Merck (MSD), where he developed distribution and logistics strategies for the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate. This work was used in Merck’s collaboration with Johnson & Johnson. He also led value chain management projects for the company’s COVID-19 antiviral drug, Molnupiravir (Lagevrio). In the past, Erik has run projects to improve the supply chain, including a year’s work at an animal health factory in the Netherlands. Erik shared, “I am ecstatic to gain a broader understanding of the challenges and opportunities in healthcare access and equity as I expand my network through the Kaplan Fellowship.”

Tamanna Shobha (MS/MBA 2024)
Tamanna is passionate about bringing new, next-generation treatments to patients. Prior to HBS, she worked at Genentech as a member of the Process Development Rotation Program and as an engineer on the Global Manufacturing Sciences and Technology team. She supported various clinical and commercial programs and learned how to commercialize new drugs safely and effectively. At UC Berkeley, she studied bioengineering and conducted academic research focused on helping develop a nanoparticle delivery method for CRISPR Cas-9, a gene-editing tool, to treat muscular dystrophy. Tamanna said, “During the MS/MBA Biotechnology program, I am excited to learn from my peers and industry professionals to understand how to solve the complex commercialization issues that innovative therapies face.”

Harvard Business School Announces 2022-2023 Kaplan Fellows – News

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