05 Oct 2022

Harvard Business School Announces 2022-2023 Kaplan Fellows


BOSTON—Harvard Business School (HBS) has announced this year’s recipients of the Robert S. Kaplan (MBA 1983) Life Sciences Fellowship. Established in 2008, the fellowship was created by Robert S. Kaplan, who served as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, vice chairman of the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and was the Martin Marshall Professor of Practice at HBS.

The Kaplan Fellowship encourages students with credentials in the life science disciplines to attend HBS by awarding incoming MBA students up to $20,000. Past recipients of the award have demonstrated academic science achievements and professional leadership roles in the industry. This year, many recipients are joint degree students in the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program, which builds upon students’ existing biotech and life science knowledge and equips them with the latest business and scientific insights. Kaplan Fellows express a strong commitment to continue a life science career after graduation, including applying to and completing the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship, which offers HBS alumni the opportunity to build a life science venture while developing their leadership talents.

“This year’s Kaplan Fellows start their HBS journeys with diverse scientific backgrounds and will add tremendous value to the School as well as the business and biotech communities in Boston,” said Robert Huckman, Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration and Howard Cox Health Care Initiative Faculty Chair. “It is exciting to welcome this new generation of leaders to Harvard’s thriving life science ecosystem.”

The 2022-2023 Kaplan Fellows are:

Gabriella (Bella) del Hierro (MS/MBA 2024)
Prior to HBS, Bella spent five years working in the biotechnology industry as a benchtop scientist. She started her career at Genentech where she learned the necessary steps to create and scale up end-to-end manufacturing processes for large molecule biotherapeutics. Most recently, she transitioned to the cell therapy space to support the development of analytical methods for early-stage T cell therapies. Outside the lab, she acted on her passion for diversity and inclusion to help spearhead relationships with historically black colleges and universities, aiming to increase representation of minorities in the biotechnology industry. As a MS/MBA Biotechnology candidate, Bella is excited to, “bridge the gap between science and business by combining my technical background with the HBS curriculum, and ultimately launch novel medicines that benefit underserved patient populations.” 

Aaron Edwards (MS/MBA 2024)
Aaron joins HBS after nearly a decade as a scientist at multiple companies across Boston’s biotech sector. His passion for developing innovative therapies to help patients suffering from serious diseases led him to work on mRNA vaccines at Novartis, gene therapies at bluebird bio, and most recently on gene-edited CAR-T programs at Beam Therapeutics. “Joining the third cohort of the MS/MBA: Biotechnology Program as a Kaplan Fellow is an opportunity that I do not take lightly,” Aaron says. “With the next generation of startup companies being formed almost daily in the area comes a strong need for leaders that not only have a vigorous drive to alleviate human suffering, but also a uniquely tailored education and training to take on such a lofty task.”

Adam Esposito (MBA 2024)
Adam joins HBS after eight years at Moderna, where he worked in early-stage R&D. There, he designed nanotechnologies for delivering mRNA medicine into the body. He is proud to have contributed to one of the first COVID-19 vaccines in the world and Moderna’s first commercial product. Outside of the laboratory, Adam championed program development efforts exploring new applications of mRNA in oncology. Adam said, “As a Kaplan Fellow, I hope to leverage my scientific background and business training to ultimately lower the barriers for bringing new medicine to patients in need.”

Claudia Hill, PhD (MS/MBA 2024) )
Prior to HBS, Claudia earned a PhD in biomedical engineering at Oxford University’s Centre of Drug Delivery and Devices, a multidisciplinary research environment that combined engineering of biology, chemistry, and medical devices with the aim of improving drug delivery. Her thesis investigated ways to enhance the pharmacokinetics and targeting of oncolytic (cancer-killing) viruses and her research was disseminated through peer-reviewed publications as well as a book chapter in Oncolytic Virotherapy. In addition to her academic work, she co-founded Neumind, a digital health company working to provide accessible, world-class rehabilitation therapy to patients with brain injuries and neurological conditions. Claudia said, “I am excited to combine my technical knowledge and strategic expertise through the MS/MBA Biotechnology program while utilizing the incredible Harvard resources to fulfill my ambition of delivering world-class therapies to patients equitably.”

Nidhin Laji, MD (MBA 2024)
Nidhin graduated in medicine from King’s College London and completed his foundation residency at Cambridge University Hospitals. While in training, Nidhin raised funding from Trinity College Cambridge and the Judge Business School to patent a software algorithm that uses 3D printing to help surgeons perform aortic arch reconstructions in neonates. After stepping out of clinical practice, Nidhin worked as a life sciences consultant at Charles River Associates where he led strategy teams and advised biopharmaceutical clients on commercial strategy, pricing, and market access. Nidhin said, “As an MBA candidate, I’m excited to build on my experience of quantifying unmet needs and working with academics in order to deliver therapies that will meaningfully change standards of care.”

Dalia Laredo (MBA 2024)
Prior to HBS, Dalia worked in clinical R&D at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals researching the formulation development of cancer immunotherapies. Dalia is a chemical and biomedical engineer from Carnegie Mellon University with experience in four academic labs. Among this research, she has studied collagen fatigue in Achilles’ tendons with ex vivo tissue models and examined the mechanical properties of graphene nanoplatelets. Dalia volunteers for the American Cancer Society and for Yonkers Partners in Education as a science research mentor. Dalia said, "I am most looking forward to joining and fostering a health care community focused on increasing access and equity in medicine."

Michael Lee (MS/MBA 2024)
Michael has spent the last six years as a scientist in early-stage biotechnology companies and helped lead the R&D pipeline in the diagnostics and therapeutics space. He started his career at Stratos Genomics where he developed novel chemistry to improve the speed, accuracy, and cost of DNA sequencing. After a successful acquisition from Roche, Michael joined an RNA-targeting gene therapy start-up, Shape Therapeutics, and helped develop their adeno-associated virus platform to create bespoke viruses that precisely and safely deliver human gene therapies. As an MS/MBA Biotechnology candidate, Michael said he is “humbled by the support of the Kaplan Fellowship and looks forward to becoming an empowering leader in the biotechnology field to innovate and democratize health care for underserved communities around the globe.”

Julia Lord (MS/MBA 2024)
Prior to HBS, Julia spent five years in the life sciences industry, first as a strategy consultant at ClearView Healthcare Partners before moving to bluebird bio as a member of the strategy and business development team. At bluebird, she worked closely with the early-stage research teams to build next-generation gene therapy products such as reduced-toxicity conditioning methods and direct administration of viral vectors. As a Kaplan Fellow, Julia said, “I’m excited to more deeply explore the intersection of science and business through the MS/MBA program and look forward to working with early-stage biotech companies to bring novel transformative therapies to patients.”

Calvin Marambo (MS/MBA 2024)
Growing up in Tanzania, Calvin's passion for scientific research developed from a desire to help solve his community's medical challenges. As a bioengineering concentrator student at Harvard College, he sought opportunities to learn how to use scientific tools to address complex medical problems like multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and pediatric oncology. He spent time at the Wyss Institute researching biomaterials for drug delivery to help improve emergency wound treatment for burn-injured service members. Prior to HBS, Calvin worked in formulation discovery at Moderna, where he developed lipid nanoparticles (the vehicles that protect the delicate mRNAs and ship them to the desired cells) to deliver mRNA vaccines and therapeutics. He also worked at Alkermes to support the discovery and development of drug candidates (small molecules and biologics) for central nervous system disorders and oncology. Calvin is pursuing the MS/MBA Biotechnology program and said he hopes “to use his scientific and business skills to impact patients."

Erik Rasmussen (MBA 2024)
Prior to HBS, Erik worked on COVID-19 manufacturing and supply programs for Merck (MSD), developing distribution and logistical strategies for the company's COVID-19 vaccine candidate. This work was utilized in Merck’s collaboration with Johnson & Johnson. He also led projects in value chain management for the company's COVID-19 antiviral medication, Molnupiravir (Lagevrio). Previously, Erik drove supply chain improvement projects, including a year working in an animal health manufacturing site in the Netherlands. Erik shared, "I am ecstatic to gain a broader understanding of challenges and opportunities in health care access and equity while expanding my network through the Kaplan Fellowship."

Tamanna Shobha (MS/MBA 2024)
Tamanna is passionate about bringing novel, next-generation therapeutics to patients. Prior to HBS, she worked at Genentech as a member of the Process Development Rotation Program and as an engineer on the Global Manufacturing Sciences and Technology team. She supported various clinical and commercial programs, learning how to commercialize new medicines safely and effectively. At UC Berkeley, she studied bioengineering and conducted academic research focused on helping develop a nanoparticle delivery method for CRISPR Cas-9, a gene editing tool, to treat muscular dystrophy. Tamanna said, "During the MS/MBA Biotechnology program, I am excited to learn from my peers and industry professionals to understand how to address the complex commercialization problems faced by innovative therapeutics.” 


Mark Cautela

About Harvard Business School

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 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, 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. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.