31 May 2018

Harvard Business School Names 2018-2019 Blavatnik Fellows in Life Science Entrepreneurship


BOSTON—Harvard Business School has named its 2018-2019 Blavatnik Fellows in Life Science Entrepreneurship. Launched in 2013, the Blavatnik Fellowship is a part of a $50 million gift to Harvard University from the Blavatnik Family Foundation, headed by Len Blavatnik (MBA 1989). The Fellowship was established to support innovative and talented entrepreneurs working closely with scientists to tackle transformative areas of life science. To date, Fellows have created 17 companies in categories including therapeutics, information technology, diagnostics, consumer, and devices, and have collectively raised more than $150M in funding.

The Blavatnik Fellowship Program is directed by Peter Barrett, PhD, senior fellow at Harvard Business School and partner at Atlas Venture with support from a Key Advisory Board of experienced business and biomedical leaders serving as Fellows’ mentors. To further catalyze these new science-based businesses, the program provides Fellows professional development in areas such as startup strategy, design thinking, intellectual property law, and entrepreneurial finance.

The 2018-2019 Blavatnik Fellows are:

Rich Horgan
Photo: Susan Young

Rich Horgan (MBA 2018) comes to the Blavatnik Fellowship with a deep passion for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). With a younger brother impacted by the disease, Rich has a strong interest in accelerating promising DMD treatments. While at business school, he worked to scale his nonprofit, Terry’s Foundation for Muscular Dystrophy, and helped advance therapeutics in the academic lab while raising awareness for DMD. He also started a company, Myos, to focus on the commercialization of effective therapies for DMD and worked in collaboration with leading scientists in the field. Prior to making his foray into biotech, Rich had extensive experience working in new business development at Corning Incorporated where he led the successful launch of a new Willow® Glass product. In addition to his MBA at Harvard Business School, he holds a BS from Cornell University where he graduated summa cum laude.

Liz Kwo
Photo: Susan Young

Liz Kwo (MD/MBA 2011, MPH 2016) has a diverse background in health care and is the CEO and co-founder of InfiniteMD, a telemedicine company connecting Chinese patients with US physicians for second opinions. She is a practicing Preventive Care and Occupational Medicine physician at Cambridge Health Alliance and researches wellness of elderly populations in Taiwan on a Fulbright Scholarship. Formerly, Liz worked for Medtronic in Europe and the US, specializing in medical device product development, marketing, and operations. She also worked at American Well, a telemedicine company that offers online physician appointments to improve access to care and health monitoring. She has experience co-founding and selling New Pathway Education and Technology Group, a company specializing in high end counseling and preparing Chinese students to attend school in the US. Liz received her MD from Harvard Medical School, MBA from Harvard Business School, MPH from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and BA from Stanford University.

David Mou
Photo: Susan Young

David Mou (MD/MBA 2014) is the co-founder and medical director of Valera Health, a behavioral health company that allows providers and payers to better manage chronic medical and mental health conditions. Valera engages patients using smartphones, making providers more efficient by increasing the quality of care while decreasing costs. In addition, David is a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he conducts research with Matt Nock on how technology can help better predict and prevent suicidal behaviors. David has been named “Top 10 under 35 for Health Care’” by LinkedIn, as well as “40 under 40” for health care innovation by MedTech Boston. David is a Soros Fellow, a Gates Scholar, a Horatio Alger National Scholar, and a member of the executive committee for the World Economic Forum Global Shapers in Boston. He graduated from Harvard College with a degree in neurobiology, and earned his MD and MBA from Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School.

Tarran Pierfelice
Photo: Susan Young

Tarran Pierfelice, PhD (MBA 2018) joins the Fellowship as a cross-disciplinary scientist with expertise in stem cell biology, neuroscience, and molecular medicine with a strong interest in developing therapies and diagnostics for neurodegenerative diseases. Tarran worked at Paragon Bioservices where she managed the deal-making process by leading the identification, structuring, and negotiation of industry partnerships and strategic in-licensing deals. During her PhD and postdoctoral fellowship, she studied mechanisms of signal pathway transduction in the regulation of stem cell fate specification in forebrain development and ocular cancer. Through a collaboration, Tarran contributed to the discovery of a novel role for neuronal Notch signaling in adult memory and learning. Since completing her PhD, Tarran has had success in the preclinical and clinical development and manufacturing of vaccines, cell and gene therapies, and other biologics in collaboration with biotech and pharmaceutical companies. She received a BS in molecular biology from Florida Institute of Technology, a PhD in cellular and molecular medicine from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and MBA from Harvard Business School.

Jayon Wang
Photo: Susan Young

Jayon Wang (MBA 2018) is an entrepreneur and engineer with experience designing and launching life-saving medical technologies. Currently, he is a co-founder of X-COR Therapeutics, an extracorporeal CO2 removal device company focused on COPD and respiratory failure treatment. In May 2018, X-COR was awarded the runner-up prize in the Life Sciences track for the President’s Innovation Challenge at Harvard University. Jayon leads X-COR's fundraising, reimbursement and regulatory strategy, and also assists in device engineering and laboratory testing with X-COR's two other co-founders, Brian Chang, PhD and Steve Keller, MD/PhD. Prior to X-COR, Jayon launched LifeShel, a medical and industrial connected-devices company, and has worked at big and small firms, ranging from corporations like ExxonMobil and Danaher to start-ups like Lumina Decision Systems, where he focused on decision systems modeling and managing uncertainty in multivariate problems. Jayon received a BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Tran Courtney


Since inception in 2013, the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship is a one-year fellowship for Harvard Business School alumni within seven 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 Harvard's i-lab. For more information about the program and admissions: hbs.edu/blavatnik


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 HBX, 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.