BOSTON — Three Ph.D.s, three medical students, a urologist, an expert in cardiac rhythm and disease management, an authority on vaccine development and manufacturing, and a consultant to Fortune 200 companies. These ten people now have one more thing in common besides their high level of talent and accomplishment. They have all recently been named recipients of Robert S. Kaplan Life Sciences Fellowships at Harvard Business School as they prepare to enter the School's MBA program in September.
Established in 2008 to encourage students with life sciences backgrounds and career interests to attend Harvard Business School, the Kaplan Fellowships enable HBS to award $20,000 each to ten incoming MBA students who meet those criteria. Credentials may include academic achievements, recognition from outside organizations, and professional accomplishments. Preferences are given to students who are planning careers in science-related businesses or organizations. Awards are for only the first year of the Harvard MBA Program and do not affect the recipient's eligibility for the School's need-based fellowships.
These awards were created through the generosity of Robert S. Kaplan, a member of the Harvard MBA Class of 1983 and former vice chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., where he now serves as a senior director. He is currently a Professor of Management Practice at HBS.
"As the leaders of this country work to cure the ills of the US healthcare system, the importance of the interplay between the life sciences and business has never been more important," said Deirdre L. Leopold, Managing Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid. "We are grateful to Rob Kaplan for helping us to attract to Harvard Business School this multitalented group of extraordinary students."
The Kaplan Fellowship Program reflects Harvard Business School's continuing commitment to trying to solve the array of problems facing the healthcare sector. In 2005, for example, HBS launched the Healthcare initiative, a multidisciplinary program that brings together the extensive research, thought leadership, and interest in the business and management of healthcare that are now key parts of the School's agenda. "Healthcare is both an important global issue and a significant opportunity for Harvard Business School," said HBS Dean Jay Light. "It's an area where management faces numerous challenges, and many of our students are eager to take up those challenges when they enter the workforce after graduation. Kaplan Fellows will play an important role in this effort."
The 2009 Kaplan Fellows are:
- Carissa L. Bellardine Black, who comes to HBS from medical device maker Medtronic, where she was a senior scientist in the Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management Division, working on the development and evaluation of new cardiac monitoring and therapy devices. The co-inventor of multiple medical device technologies, she holds a BS, MS, and Ph.D., all in biomedical engineering, from Boston University.
- Drew Cronin-Fine, who joined IMS Health, a consultancy in New York City, after graduating from Brown University with a BS in applied mathematics and biology. Among other responsibilities, she managed and directed projects for major pharmaceutical and biotech clients. She has also worked as a research assistant at Brown and at several Providence, Rhode Island, hospitals.
- Christopher J. Cutie, MD, who has spent the past six years as a resident in urology (most recently as chief resident) at the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he performed more than 200 operations and was responsible for resident training in operative techniques and patient care. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Medicine and did his undergraduate work at the University of Pennsylvania, where he majored in anthropology and German literature and minored in chemistry.
- Kouki Harasaki, who worked as a senior researcher in drug discovery and development for cardiovascular disease and diabetes at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research after earning a PhD from the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Cambridge University. As an undergraduate, he majored in molecular and cell biology as well as Asian studies at Cornell.
- Sidhant Jena, who worked as a senior reliability engineer at Medtronic, where he was involved in the development of the company's latest implantable cardiac defibrillator. He also launched the company's Public Health Initiative, which brings together scientists, engineers, and business executives to explore business models in the areas of wellness and heart disease prevention. He holds two degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology - a BS in computer engineering and an MS in electrical and computer engineering.
- Jared R. Jensen, a chemical engineering graduate of Princeton with a master's degree in that subject from Lehigh, who worked as a senior manufacturing supervisor at Merck, where he watched over the production of vaccines for shingles and chickenpox. As a staff engineer before that, he was involved in the development and manufacture of vaccines for cervical cancer and hepatitis B.
- Heather L. McCullough, who is about to complete her Ph.D. in genetics after six years of study at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where she was a recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. As an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley, she majored in molecular and cell biology and minored in business administration at the Haas School.
- Alexander S. Misono, who is in the joint MD/MBA program at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School. He has also worked as a research scientist at Children's Hospital Boston, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. After graduating from Harvard College with a degree in biochemistry, he was a consultant with L.E.K. Consulting, advising companies in the biotech and life sciences sectors.
- Alexander G. Nazem, who went to work for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) after graduating from Yale with a BS in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. At IHI, he played a major role in a successful national campaign to prevent 100,000 hospital deaths. Since 2007, he has been instrumental in developing IHI's Open School for Health Professions, a virtual school. He is also an MD candidate at the Yale School of Medicine.
- Erika Pabo, who received a bachelor's degree in the history of science and medicine at Yale and is now in the joint Harvard MD/MBA program. Long interested in delivering health care in resource-poor settings around the world, before entering medical school she worked as special assistant to the CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, focusing on health care disparities. During her first two years in medical school, she served as training and education co-leader for Students for Global Health and as a case writer for the Global Health Delivery Project.