Meet the latest Harvard Business School Blavatnik Fellows: Shardule Shah
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.
Shardule Shah, 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: Before Harvard Business School, Shah worked at Lucira Health and Roche Molecular Diagnostics, where he managed clinical operations and regulatory affairs for point-of-care diagnostic devices including COVID-19 testing. He earned a doctorate degree from Emory University in immunology, a master’s from the University of Pennsylvania in cell biology, a bachelor’s from Case Western Reserve University in biochemistry, and an MBA from HBS in 2022.
The innovation: Shah is pursuing promising therapeutics for cancers. He is CEO and co-founder of Lime Therapeutics, a Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center spinoff that utilizes a novel high-throughput screening approach for discovering lipid-targeting drugs for treating cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Notably, Shah said cancers need lipids to survive and thus, “finding drugs that can deprive cancers of lipids represents an attractive therapeutic strategy.”
Promising results: Working closely with Lime Therapeutics engineers to identify specific cancers to target, Lime has developed and patented a lead drug candidate that increases lifespan in a mouse model of a non-small cell lung cancer model by 50 percent.
Looking ahead: Shah said, “The foundation’s support provides me flexibility to take necessary risks, by providing me with financial resources and a broad, diverse, and engaged mentor network to help me achieve Lime Therapeutics’ potential of solving cancer.”
What others are saying: “The Blavatnik Fellowship at HBS has supported some of the most promising innovators and entrepreneurs since it first began in 2003,” said Len Blavatnik, founder and chairman of Access Industries and head of the Blavatnik Family Foundation. “This class is no exception and I’m excited to watch their extraordinary progress and success.”
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.