06 Jun 2019

Harvard Business School Announces $10 Million Gift Renewal from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and Introduces 2019-2020 Blavatnik Fellows in Life Science Entrepreneurship

2019-2020 Blavatnik Fellows: Steven Dalvin, Anu Atluru, Renx Xu, Laura Kelley, and Philip Jeng.
Photo: Susan Young

BOSTON—Harvard Business School (HBS) has named its 2019-2020 Blavatnik Fellows in Life Science Entrepreneurship. Launched in 2013, the Blavatnik Fellowship was part of a $50 million gift to Harvard University from the Blavatnik Family Foundation, headed by Len Blavatnik (MBA 1989). In 2019, an additional $10 million was provided by the foundation to support the Fellowship through 2029.

“Len Blavatnik is a true visionary, both as a businessman and philanthropist, and we are grateful for his generous and continuous support of the Fellowship,” said Peter Barrett, PhD, senior fellow at HBS and partner at Atlas Venture, who directs the Blavatnik Fellowship with support from a Key Advisory Board of experienced business and biomedical leaders serving as Fellows’ mentors.

To date, 25 Fellows have created 21 companies across the life science industry including therapeutics, information technology, diagnostics, consumer health, and devices, and have collectively raised more than $250 million in funding. The unique program provides Fellows professional development in areas such as startup strategy, design thinking, intellectual property law, and entrepreneurial finance. Fellows spend 12 months working closely with scientists and inventors at Harvard University and the Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals to determine how to best develop and commercialize new discoveries and inventions.

“Len invests in passionate people who think big and are comfortable taking risks. His gift provides young entrepreneurs the opportunity to work closely with Harvard scientists and tackle transformative areas of life science,” added Barrett. “The sixth cohort represents some of the best minds in science, business, and technology. We’re thrilled to welcome them to the Blavatnik community.”

The 2019-2020 Blavatnik Fellows are:

ANU ATLURU (MD 2016, MBA 2019) has diverse experience in entrepreneurship, management consulting, and medicine. She started a medical technology venture, Safe-C, to reduce complications in high-risk cesarean section deliveries. At Deloitte Consulting, Anu served Fortune 500 clients in technology and telecommunications across strategy, operations, and mergers and acquisitions. While completing her residency internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, she was named 40 under 40 for health care innovation by MedTech Boston and published in The Atlantic and The Journal of the American Medical Association. Anu received her BBA in Business Honors and Finance from The University of Texas at Austin, an MD from The University of Texas Southwestern, and MBA from HBS as a Baker Scholar.

STEVEN DALVIN (MD/MBA 2019) is an entrepreneur and engineer passionate about advancing medical care. During his undergraduate education, he worked on multiple medical device design projects including a replacement gastric feeding tube and a minimally invasive lung biopsy device. As a medical student, Dalvin co-founded the Makerspace prototyping lab at Harvard Medical School to support student entrepreneurs. He has co-developed several mobile applications including an app to measure tissue perfusion using a cell phone camera, an app to measure sudden cardiac death risk via EKG readings, and an iPhone game. Dalvin received a BS in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, and earned his MD and MBA from Harvard Medical School (HMS) and HBS.

PHILIP JENG (MBA 2019) draws from a diverse background in engineering, consulting, and investing within the life sciences industry. He is passionate about translating innovative technology into products to help patients on a global-level. Over the past few years, Jeng has dedicated himself to learning about the dynamic health care landscape in China and early-stage investing through experiences at Qiming Venture Partners USA and Quan Capital. Prior to business school, he worked as a consultant at ZS Associates where he worked on pharmaceutical and medical device projects. Jeng began his career in the Process Development Rotational Program (PDRP) at Genentech where he gained experience in purification, process development engineering, and device development. He has a BS in bioengineering from UC Berkeley and an MBA from HBS

LAURA KELLEY (MBA 2019) is an entrepreneur and public health professional with broad experience in commercializing health technologies in emerging markets. As a Blavatnik Fellow, she is focused on commercializing next generation, precision oncology diagnostics. Prior to starting her venture, she led corporate strategy for Pyramid Pharma Ltd., a pan-African health services company, where she worked with partners such as Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic Plc on marketing, regulatory and reimbursement strategies across the continent. In addition, Kelley worked at Clinton Health Access Initiative and advised governments and the private sector on market-based solutions to increase access to malaria diagnosis and treatment. She has experience at Lightstone Ventures, an early stage life sciences fund. Laura received a BA from Rice University, an MPH from Columbia University, and an MBA from HBS.

RENA XU (MD/MBA 2014) has a longstanding interest in improving health care delivery. She gained firsthand understanding of the challenges and opportunities during her work as a consultant in the health care practice at Boston Consulting Group and then trained in urologic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. She has explored health care delivery topics through medical writings for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New England Journal of Medicine. As a Blavatnik Fellow, Xu will work on building a physician quality assessment tool to help patients make more informed health care choices. She is a graduate of Harvard College, and subsequently received her MD and MBA degrees from HMS and HBS.


Cullen Schmitt


Since inception in 2013, the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship is a one-year fellowship for Harvard Business School alumni within 7-10 years of graduation. This innovative fellowship program provides promising scientists and business people 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.


Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 200 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and doctoral degrees, as well as more than 70 open enrollment Executive Education programs and 55 custom programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, HBS faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching to educate leaders who make a difference in the world, shaping the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.