Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator
Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship
The Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship offers Harvard Business School alumni and Harvard-affiliated postdocs the opportunity to advance new ventures around promising life science technologies and develop their leadership talents during a 12-month fellowship year. Postdocs who are selected as Blavatnik Fellows are able to lead the technical and commercial development of their existing scientific research.
Supporting Blavatnik Fellows in their pursuit of successful enterprise creation, the program provides practical materials for entrepreneurship—time, working space, operating funds—with access to strategic resources—mentorship, workshops, and fireside chats, with industry experts. To date, there have been 39 Blavatnik Fellows that have collectively raised $468M+ in funding.
The Blavatnik Fellowship is led by faculty chair Peter Barrett, PhD. The members of the Key Advisory Board, leading industry and biomedical authorities, provide programmatic guidance as well as one-on-one mentorship to Blavatnik Fellows. The Blavatnik Entrepreneurship Network, a consortium of top business and science leaders, provides Fellows additional mentorship channels.
Join our community of entrepreneurs
Ideal candidates are MBA alumni of Harvard Business School who have graduated within the last 7–10 years, or postdoctoral candidates within the first 5 years of their training program at a Harvard program or research lab. The program is a full-time, salaried, residential fellowship. As such, Blavatnik Fellows are expected to reside in the Boston area, are eligible to enroll in a range of Harvard employee benefits, and receive work space at the Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab.
Bringing life science innovations to the global population is more crucial than ever. The Blavatnik Fellowship mentors future leaders who want to make important advancements, take risks, and commercialize biomedical discoveries.
Five Years of Thinking Big
Dan Ahlstedt, MBA '21
Dan Ahlstedt is an engineer and member of the EnPlusOne Biosciences team at the Wyss Institute. During his Blavatnik Fellowship...
Dan Ahlstedt is an engineer and member of the EnPlusOne Biosciences team at the Wyss Institute. During his Blavatnik Fellowship, he will support the business development effort for EnPlusOne’s novel enzymatic RNA synthesis platform. The team believes their unique platform will allow researchers to unlock new RNA modifications and therapeutic molecules, while simultaneously improving product quality, purity, and cost compared with traditional synthesis methods. EnPlusOne is currently focused on scaling their technology platform and fostering strategic industry partnerships. Dan has had a passion for biotechnology and the rare disease space for many years. Previously, he worked as a process engineer at Sanofi supporting large-scale GMP manufacturing and was selected to lead downstream purification engineering efforts for a new continuous biomanufacturing facility. In that role, he led the design, construction, and validation of all chromatography operations. Named the Digital Factory of the Future, the building was eventually awarded the 2020 ISPE Facility of the Year Award. Dan earned his BS in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University and an MBA from HBS.
Ying Kai Chan, PhD '15
Ying Kai Chan is an innovator and entrepreneur passionate about translating cutting-edge scientific discoveries to transformative therapies...
Ying Kai Chan is an innovator and entrepreneur passionate about translating cutting-edge scientific discoveries to transformative therapies for patients. During his Blavatnik Fellowship year, he will explore opportunities and technologies in ocular gene therapy. Most recently, Kai served as Chief Scientific Officer of Ally Therapeutics, which he co-founded with George Church, and worked on gene therapies for ophthalmic and neuromuscular disease indications. Previously, he performed his postdoctoral research work at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, where he became Principal Investigator and led projects on AAV gene therapy, mRNA vectors and live attenuated vaccines. Kai holds multiple patents, and was a recipient of the inaugural STAT Wunderkind award in 2017. He has served on gene therapy panels at NIH, FDA and disease foundations and is an appointed member of the Immune Responses to Gene & Cell Therapy Committee of ASGCT. Kai earned a BA summa cum laude in Neuroscience and minor in Philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis, an MS in Biological Sciences from Stanford University, a PhD in Microbiology and Immunobiology and a Certificate in Human Biology and Translational Medicine from HMS.
Jannine Versi, MBA '14
Jannine Versi is the co-founder and COO of Elektra Health, an innovative women's health company. Elektra helps women navigate...
Jannine Versi is the co-founder and COO of Elektra Health, an innovative women's health company. Elektra helps women navigate the menopause transition with access to evidence-based virtual care, education, and community. As a Blavatnik Fellow, Jannine will be focusing on Elektra’s digital product and growth strategy. Jannine has spent over a decade working in healthcare, tech, and government. She was on the founding team of Cityblock Health, a tech-driven healthcare provider focused on underserved communities, incubated within Google / Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs. She’s also held roles at Google and in the Obama Administration, where she was a senior political appointee and the chief of staff of a federal agency. Jannine earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from HBS, and was a Fulbright Scholar in India.
Ananya Zutshi, MS/MBA '21
Ananya Zutshi is passionate about using exciting science to bring life-changing therapies to market for patients. During her Blavatnik Fellowship...
Ananya Zutshi is passionate about using exciting science to bring life-changing therapies to market for patients. During her Blavatnik Fellowship year, she will work on leveraging an innovative new technology platform to create next-generation cancer therapeutics. Prior to graduate school, Ananya was a project manager at a leading contract development and manufacturing organization in the pharma/biotech industry, preparing and managing project plans for clients focused on biologics. Additional expertise gained through roles in GMP Operations, Process Engineering, Business Development, and early-stage biology and technology investing have given her a holistic view of a complex industry. Ananya earned a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, where she graduated with distinction and received the Howard G. Clark Award for Outstanding Independent Research for her gene therapy and tissue engineering work under Dr. Farshid Guilak, and graduated with a dual MS in Engineering Sciences from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as well as an MBA from HBS where she was a recipient of the Kaplan Life Sciences Fellowship.
Peter Barrett, PhD
Partner, Atlas Venture
Peter Barrett is a Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School and faculty chair of the key advisory board of the Blavatnik Fellowship. He is also Partner at Atlas Venture...
Peter Barrett, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow at Harvard Business School and faculty chair of the key advisory board of the Blavatnik Fellowship Program. He is also Partner at Atlas Venture, an early stage life science venture capital firm. Since 2002, Peter has been involved in the creation of several novel therapeutic and drug discovery platform companies. Prior to Atlas, he was co-founder, executive vice president and chief business officer of Celera Genomics, which announced the first successful sequencing of the human genome in 2001
Peter is currently chairman of Obsidian Therapeutics, Zafgen (NASDAQ:ZFGN), Cadent Therapeutics and Synlogic (NASDAQ:SYBX) and sits on the boards of Indalo and Perkin Elmer (NYSE:PKI). He is also a member of the research council at Boston Children’s Hospital and the board of Living Independently Forever.
Peter received a BS in chemistry from Lowell Technological Institute (now UMass, Lowell) and a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Northeastern University.