27 Sep 2023

Harvard Business School Announces 2023-2024 Kaplan Fellows


BOSTON—Harvard Business School (HBS) has announced the 10 recipients of the 2023-2024 Robert S. Kaplan (MBA 1983) Life Sciences Fellowship. Established in 2008 and entering its 15th and final year, 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 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. Many recipients this year 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 final cohort of the 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 sciences ecosystem.”

The 2023-2024 Kaplan Fellows are:

Thomas Adeyemi (MBA 2025)
Tom joins HBS having spent the past two years in life sciences consulting at L.E.K. Consulting, based in its London office. At L.E.K, Tom worked on projects ranging from business development strategy for a European neurology-focused biotech company developing its first asset to commercial due diligence on biopharma and pharma services companies for private equity clients. Tom was also selected for three externships during his time at L.E.K., working in the U.S. Precision Medicine team of a global biopharma company, developing business cases for two newly acquired assets at a UK-based pharma company, and working at an Africa-focused private equity fund. Prior to working at L.E.K., Tom spent over 10 years playing professional football in the English Football League, alongside which he completed a biology degree with the Open University and won the Royal Society of Biology’s Top Student Award. As an MS/MBA: Biotechnology candidate, Tom is excited to explore how to solve key challenges in healthcare via concerted efforts across multiple disciplines.

Ricky Cordova (MBA 2025)
Ricky is a bioengineer and product designer who has worked across the life science, medical device, and digital health industries to solve unmet clinical needs in obstetrics and gynecology. After graduating from Stanford, he joined the University of Arizona's BIO5 Institute and helped lead multi-institutional, NIH-funded research projects that led to the development of new diagnostics, endoscopic devices, and AI/ML tools for the early detection of ovarian cancer. Pivoting his research career towards design and entrepreneurship, he completed the Harvard HealthTech Fellowship at Harvard Medical School and co-founded a startup aimed at providing virtual pelvic floor therapy programs to postpartum women. Prior to starting school at HBS, he also spent time at IDEO collaborating with large companies to design innovative healthcare and life science products, and he continues to use these skills as an independent design consultant for global public health projects at Meta and the World Health Organization.

Zaid Haque (MBA 2025)
Prior to HBS, Zaid spent eight years working in the life sciences. After completing his undergraduate studies in bioengineering, Zaid launched his professional career at Deloitte where he focused on strategic challenges across the biopharmaceutical landscape. Zaid then transitioned to industry, taking on a role in business development at Oncoceutics and supporting the development of a novel therapy for pediatric brain cancers. Most recently, Zaid played an instrumental role in business development at Nanobiotix, spearheading the license of their cutting-edge oncology drug, NBTXR3, to Johnson and Johnson. He is incredibly grateful for the support of the Kaplan Fellowship to further explore innovation in the biotechnology space. He hopes to grow as a leader that can drive forward drug candidates and transform the lives of patients worldwide.

Lucia Johnson
Lucia Johnson will join the program from the biotech industry, where she held corporate strategy, business development, and operations roles for early-to-growth stage biopharmaceutical and health technology companies. Lucia spent two years at Roivant Sciences where she worked directly with executive teams to launch subsidiary companies focused on areas of unmet medical need, including a novel therapy during the COVID-19 outbreak. Passionate about developing innovative treatments to address the mental health crisis, Lucia then joined Terran Biosciences, an early-stage biotech company focused on neuropsychiatric disorders, as the second full time employee. During her time at Terran, she managed medicinal chemistry, preclinical, and clinical programs as well as Terran’s patent portfolio, in which she is named an inventor. At Stanford University, Lucia studied human biology and management science and engineering to develop the combination of scientific, analytic, and business skills to help accelerate the translation of scientific research into cost-effective solutions. As a Kaplan Fellow, she is grateful for the opportunity to build an integrated scientific and business skillset to help bridge the gap between bench and bedside.

Megan Kotrappa (MS/MBA 2025)
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology where she studied bioengineering, finance, and health care management and policy, Megan started her career in healthcare investment banking at Goldman Sachs. There, she worked on transactions of over $18B in aggregate value including M&As, IPOs, and private investments. Megan then joined B Capital and entered life sciences investing with an inaugural $500M fund. She helped form the strategy for life sciences investing, evaluate 300+ companies, and develop a global valuation methodology of biotech companies. Through the MS/MBA Biotechnology program and with the support of the Kaplan Fellowship, Megan looks forward to more deeply expanding on her knowledge and channeling her inner scientist to impact patients and give people what she believes is most important—more time with their loved ones.

Lena Licht (MBA 2025)
Fascinated by the intersection between science and business after studying biochemistry and entrepreneurship at UCLA, Lena went on to pursue a master's in biotechnology from Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering, studying bioprocess engineering and engineering management. She completed her master's research at LanzaTech, an environmental biotechnology company, as a synthetic biologist, where she metabolically engineered their proprietary production strain for optimized conversion of carbon in waste gases to usable materials. Prior to HBS, Lena worked at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis as a purification development scientist, designing and developing efficient and scalable purification processes for biologic medicines. Lena moved to a technical services representative role in Eli Lilly's pilot plant, manufacturing biologic medicines for clinical trials. Here, she designed, planned, and oversaw the execution of GMP campaigns to bring safe and efficacious medicines to patients. As an MS/MBA candidate, Lena is excited to strengthen her insight into the intersection between science and business to drive novel therapeutics to market.

Matt Sears (MBA 2025)
Matt joins us at HBS as he takes a step back from the lab bench after five years as a research scientist. He has had the privilege of working at the University of Pennsylvania and MIT where he contributed to research investigating the molecular regulation of normal mammalian development, a non-invasive potential therapy for Alzheimer’s, and a technology to map the brain’s architecture and connectome. Most recently, he worked at Beam Therapeutics where he helped lead the laboratory effort to develop genetic therapy for a disease of the central nervous system using Beam’s base editing technology as part of a collaboration with Pfizer. Matt is excited to use his culminated scientific expertise and his time at HBS to bridge the science and business sides of the biotechnology industry. He recognizes that we now have both the capability and opportunity to change lives through the prevention and reversal of serious disease. Matt is motivated to use what he learns through the MS/MBA Biotechnology program and the support of the Kaplan Fellowship to enable the creation and expansion of transformative cell and gene therapies to vulnerable patient populations.

Alanna Smith (MBA 2025)
Alanna joins HBS after eight years in the life sciences industry. Her background includes academic research, medical device startup, and several commercial roles at Gilead, Global Blood Therapeutics, and Pfizer. Most recently at Pfizer, as a member of the rare disease global marketing team, she supported the development of two pipeline sickle cell treatments acquired from Global Blood Therapeutics. Prior to the acquisition, Alanna also helped launch the first polymerization inhibitor for the treatment of sickle cell disease (Oxbryta). As a Kaplan Fellow, Alanna hopes to learn how to more efficiently bring rare disease treatments to market.

Cody Transbarger (MBA 2025)
Prior to HBS, Cody spent six years in the life sciences industry, first at Goldman Sachs, then at Casdin Capital, and most recently, at Prime Medicine. At Prime, Cody helped lead strategic initiatives across business development and portfolio / indication strategy, including Prime’s efforts in non-genotoxic conditioning and CAR-T therapies. In addition to HBS, Cody also consults for Atlas Venture and serves on the Board of Cure Rare Disease, a non-profit focused on personalized therapeutics. As a Kaplan Fellow, Cody is excited to leverage the resources of HBS, the expertise of faculty and classmates, and the depth of the broader Harvard ecosystem toward new therapeutic development for underserved patients.

Lindsay Wong (MBA 2025)
Prior to HBS, Lindsay spent six years working as a bench scientist in both academia and industry. She started her career at the Schepens Eye Research Institute where her research focused on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of numerous retinopathies and exploring pathway biology amenable to pharmacological intervention. Most recently, she transitioned those skills to industry where she worked in early-stage drug discovery within Biogen’s ophthalmology research unit. During this time, Lindsay served as the scientific lead for a program aimed at creating a first-in-class gene therapeutic for patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa. She spearheaded the preclinical development strategies and led the program from lead identification all the way to clinical development. As an MS/MBA Biotechnology candidate, Lindsay is eager to build upon my technical expertise with the skills and business acumen to accomplish my goals of leading biotech companies at the forefront of impact-driven science.


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.