06 Jul 2023

Harvard Business School Announces Its 2023-2024 Blavatnik Fellows


The 2023-2024 Blavatnik Fellows
The 2023-2024 Blavatnik Fellows (L-R): Patrick Emedom-Nnamdi, Luca Giani, Simin Lee, Morgan Moncada, Nuria Puigmal Dominguez.

BOSTON—Harvard Business School (HBS) has announced the 2023-2024 cohort of Blavatnik Fellows. Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship was launched in 2013 as part of a gift to Harvard University from the Blavatnik Family Foundation. The fellowship offers HBS alumni and Harvard-affiliated postdocs the opportunity to work closely with leading biotech industry and biomedical authorities, receive mentorship, and join a community of entrepreneurs shaping the future of science.

To date, Blavatnik Fellows have created 35 companies in biomedical industries, including: a novel enzymatic RNA synthesis platform, an immune system-driven dendritic cell therapy to combat cancer, new molecular technologies for the delivery of transdermal formulations, a lipid-targeting drug to treat cancer and neurodegenerative disorders, and a tumor oxygen sensor for personalized oncology care. They have collectively raised more than $500M in funding and an additional $244M from an IPO in June 2020. The fellowship is guided by Peter Barrett, executive fellow, and a Key Advisory Board of 13 seasoned business and biotechnology leaders who serve as one-on-one mentors and provide strategic direction during the fellows' program year.

“This cohort of fellows bring a rich, diverse background of academic and professional experiences,” said Barrett. “From postdoctoral researchers, to science and technology policy experts, to joint degree MBAs, I am certain that these fellows will be a part of the next decade of life science venture creation. I am truly delighted to continue to be a part of the fellowship’s growth and to be able to mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs who are commercializing groundbreaking technology and biomedical innovation.”

The 2023-2024 Blavatnik Fellows are:  

Núria Puigmal Dominguez, PhD, is an entrepreneur and cross-disciplinary bioengineer with expertise in biomaterials and immunology. Núria is passionate about developing patient-centered therapies that are portable and easy-to-use. Her post-doctoral research was conducted at Harvard Medical School; the Wyss Institute at the Harvard University; and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) at MIT, where she engineered drug delivery systems in collaboration with pharmaceutical companies such as Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson. She has authored multiple high-impact publications and is the inventor of several patents leveraging the use of biomaterials for drug delivery and diagnosis. During her fellowship, Núria will serve as a founding scientific member to translate into the market a microneedle patch for the management of autoimmune skin diseases. Núria holds a MS in biotechnology and a PhD in bioengineering from IQS School of Engineering in Barcelona, Spain.

Patrick Emedom-Nnamdi, (PhD 2023) is the co-founder and chief scientist of Raia Health, a health tech company he established alongside fellow Harvard alumni Asmaa Fikree (MBA 2022) and Christopher Edward Dee (MD 2021). Patrick's research focuses on utilizing real-world behavioral data from smartphones to characterize patient quality of life and to develop adaptive interventions using reinforcement learning that significantly improve patient experience. As a fellow, Patrick will focus on product and research development at Raia Health with the goal of using AI-driven supported care to reduce patient-related symptom load and improve treatment completion for anti-cancer medications. Patrick earned a PhD and AM in biostatistics from Harvard University and a BA in mathematical biology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Luca Giani (MPP 2022) is the co-founder and CEO of Ilios Therapeutics, a platform chemistry startup developing first-in-class small molecules modulating multiple complementary mechanisms involved in neurodegenerative diseases. Driven by personal and family experiences, Luca is dedicated to advancing brain-related disease research. As a fellow, Luca will be focusing on confirming Ilios Tx’s mechanism of action through in-vitro experiments and animal models. Luca previously served as a TAPP Fellow at the Harvard Belfer Center, researching under Dr. Bob Langer's mentorship on how to improve neurodegenerative disease research towards impact. A Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, Luca holds an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BS from Georgetown University.

Simin Lee, (BA 2010, MD/MBA 2016) is the co-founder and CEO of Systole, a health tech startup that aims to deliver “exercise as medicine” to people living with chronic disease. Simin first became a passionate believer in the power of exercise through her own experiences on the Harvard lightweight rowing team and running marathons. She is a general cardiologist and behavioral scientist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital; she also cares for many patients with complex chronic disease that can be treated with exercise and conducts research on innovative approaches to healthy behavior change. As a fellow, Simin plans to refine Systole’s product development and go-to-market strategy. Simin received her BA, MD, and MBA from Harvard University.

Morgan Moncada, (MS/MBA 2023) is the CEO and co-founder of Willow Health, an AI platform for holistic brain health monitoring and intervention. Willow integrates mental, physical, and behavioral data to manage subclinical stress in young adults and accelerate neuropsychiatric clinical trials. Willow uses machine learning—with Human-in-the-loop—to train personalized AI models that can be used for continuous disease monitoring and early intervention. Morgan previously led product and operations at Aromyx, a synthetic biology and data science company that’s digitizing taste and smell. Morgan previously ran business development and fundraising at Trellis Bioscience, a clinical-stage Series C startup developing rare native human antibodies against infectious diseases and cancer. While studying at HBS, Morgan was the co-president of the HBS Health Care Club and co-managing director of Nucleate (Boston chapter), a global biotech accelerator. Morgan earned his BS in biology from Stanford University.


Tracy Buckner

About the Blavatnik Fellowship In Life Science Entrepreneurship:  

Established in 2013, the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship offers Harvard Business School alumni and Harvard-affiliated postdocs the opportunity to create new ventures around promising life science technologies while developing their leadership talents. This innovative one-year program provides promising scientists and entrepreneurs with the opportunity to work with Harvard inventors and Harvard-affiliated hospitals to promote the commercialization of life science technologies with significant market potential. Fellows are given a unique set of advantages including mentorship, leadership opportunities, professional development, financial support, and working space at Pagliuca Harvard Life Lab.