Azita Sharif (MBA 2000) is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of DSI- Precision Medicine Biobanking & BINDS (Bio-Informatics Network for Discovery Science). Her goal is to positively impact human and public health using engineering with a focus on analytical preventive medicine.

Biotechnology is a complex industry which combines applied science & engineering and applied business practices with life science.  It is the most multi-faceted industry segment there is because it is ultimately focused on the most complex open system: The human body. Biological systems are fascinatingly well-programmed and well-constructed. Despite vast knowledge we have accumulated in medicine and biotechnology, there is very little we know about this complex system. 

The exquisite design of human body is what we, as engineers and scientists, have tried to understand and replicate. We have not even come close to understanding it or imitating its design. The body deploys amazing, interconnected solutions to manage the chemical wonders that continuously run. 

We continue to explore human physiology, and we continue to learn how little we know about this exquisite system. Yet, we attempt to cure its diseases, understand cancer, design clinical trials and discover molecules that can cure to the best of our abilities. Exactly for this reason, there is a vast amount of interest and capital in the biotechnology sector. It is like the wild, wild west, where all of us are rushing to find gold and is a very competitive landscape as a result. 

Because the Biotechnology industry is complex and has a competitive landscape, only those with the best tools will be able to solve bigger problems, yield more, and hopefully, leave a legacy for the next generations. The best tools can be found in the combination of Harvard’s new MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program. This combination will enable graduates to analyze the biotechnology and life science problems with a better perspective, one that allows them to evaluate any situation scientifically and with a business acumen, which the case method implements. 

The unique case method at HBS is the result of decades of thinking critically about how to build the ability to react quickly and thoughtfully to situations. Providing someone with a background in life sciences or biotech with a MS/MBA will equip students to be more effective as founders and leaders.

Additionally, what better city than Cambridge, MA to have such a rich dual education! Cambridge is the global center for biotechnology research and development. Cambridge is to biotechnology what Florence was to the Renaissance. Florence gave us Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo. Join us in Cambridge to continue building the Florence of biotechnology.