The Blavatnik Fellowship Aims to Bring Business Acumen to Yale Breakthroughs

Written: January 22, 2018

There is new opportunity for professionals looking to support faculty ventures with commercial potential at Yale. Called the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship, it’s a year-long experience for scientists and businesspeople with a biotech focus to gain professional skills, mentorship, leadership opportunities and funding  all while helping faculty launch their discoveries into the market and getting involved on the ground floor of promising startups.

“We have an incredible breadth of groundbreaking, patented discoveries at Yale that just need the right business acumen and market research to transition to a place where they become commercially viable,” says James Boyle, PhD, who is leading the initiative at the Yale Office of Cooperative Research (OCR).

The Blavatnik Fellowship is an extension of the Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale, a fund launched last year to support the advancement of promising life science discoveries at Yale into impactful products and services that is supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation. Last year, eight faculty were awarded grants of up to $300,000 to develop ideas that ranged from a first-in-class therapeutic for fibrosis, to new inhibitors to treat Alzheimer’s disease, to a nanoparticle-based sunscreen.

“The Blavatnik winners have been through a rigorous selection process that includes careful consideration by an Investment Advisory Board made up of top industry and investment experts,” says Boyle. “They represent the most promising technologies in development at Yale that have the potential for serious impact. The Fellows will play a critical role in helping them reach key milestones.”

OCR is seeking two Blavatnik Fellows to work side-by-side with Blavatnik awardees and applicants beginning this June. In addition to working closely with a select team, the Fellows will participate in screening next year’s applicants, sit with board members during deliberation, and work with a number of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence to ready faculty for final applications. There may also be opportunities for Fellows to work with teams outside of the applicant pool.

“The Fellowship represents a fantastic opportunity for PhDs and MDs looking to get hands-on experience in stating a biotech venture and potentially join a new company on the rise,” says Boyle.

Applications for the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship are due Thurs., Feb 15, 11:59pm. Details and application here.

CONTACT: Brita Belli, Communications Officer, Yale Office of Cooperative Research, (203)804-1911,