Meet the latest Harvard Business School Blavatnik Fellows: Alexey Youssef
With its spirited motto that “The science of today is the business of tomorrow,” the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship at the Harvard Business School (HBS) recently named five new fellows.
Established in 2013 and supported by the Blavatnik Family Foundation, the one-year program offers Harvard alumni and Harvard-affiliated postdoctoral researchers practical materials. The fellowship provides access to strategic resources to create new ventures around promising life science technologies while developing leadership talents.
Alexey Youssef, one of the fellows for 2022-2023, will work with Harvard inventors and Harvard-affiliated hospitals to promote the commercialization of life science technologies with significant market potential.
Bio: Youssef has made a global impact, being the first Syrian Rhodes Scholar and working as a physician on the front lines of the civil war in Syria. Before HBS, he worked with the World Health Organization to digitally transform health care systems in low-income settings using open-source electronic health records. Youssef also has experience in the financial sector as an equities hedge fund investor and mergers and acquisition financial adviser. He’s currently finishing a doctorate at Oxford University, after previously earning a master’s degree there and an MBA at HBS.
The innovation: Youssef is co-founder of Sky Therapeutics, which he started with an MBA classmate, Shad Faraz. As a Blavatnik fellow, he’s seeking to build the first discovery and development-oriented digital therapeutics company using an AI and digital biomarkers-enabled platform that will churn out highly potent and personalized therapies at a fraction of the current cost and time.
Looking ahead: Youssef said, “Innovation happens on the crossroads of disciplines. I am very excited to have the support of the Blavatnik Fellowship as I embark on the journey of exploring the intersection of neuroscience, machine learning, and digital therapeutics to improve the lives of millions of patients.”
Tune in: You can listen to his podcast with Shad Faraz, “Physicians Off The Beaten Path,” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other major streaming platforms. The duo hosts top health care executives for engaging conversations on dynamic career paths for physicians, busting the myth that physicians cannot venture outside the traditional clinical or research career path.
Spurring investment: Since 2013, Blavatnik fellows have created 30 companies, developing, among other things, a precision gene therapy, a respiratory dialysis device, a femtech device using genomics to enable women’s care, a biosensing wearable to prevent dehydration, and an oxygen sensor for personalized oncology care. They have collectively raised more than $485 million in funding and an additional $244 million from an IPO in June 2020.