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DFCI HMS Broad

Entrepreneurship

An important part of training in the Novina lab is learning to conduct translational research using clinical samples, advanced technologies, computational methods, and humanized models systems. The training environment in my lab encourages students and postdoctoral fellows to leverage clinical and industry collaboration for translating biological discoveries. Examples of clinical collaborators are listed on the mentorship page. Examples of commercial collaborators include CloudHealth Genomics, Randox Biosciences, and Quantumcyte.

The due diligence process for commercializing discoveries is complex and there are few opportunities to gain practical experience in this process. For the past three years, I have been a mentor to the Harvard Biotechnology Incubator (HBI). Together with successful biotechnology entrepreneur, Dr. Fred Mermelstein, we teach Harvard Medical School students and postdocs the skillsets and knowledge required for evaluating technologies and developing a plan for their translation. Specifically, we lead HBI in due diligence and biotechnology development exercises on real-world examples of technologies with therapeutic potential discovered in an academic setting. This extremely popular course has helped students focus and direct their research to more practical applications and opened their minds to career opportunities beyond traditional academic and industrial science jobs. The success of this initiative has led the HBI student leadership to petition Harvard Medical School Deans to institute a certificate program based on the HBI experience.

I have begun to integrate the lessons and results of due diligence exercises into projects in my laboratory. Towards that end, I have formed a new company called Raqia Therapeutics which has options to several technologies being developed in the Novina Lab. Please contact Dr. Novina or Dr. Jane Amara (Jane_Amara@dfci.harvard.edu), Associate Director of the Belfer Office for Dana-Farber Innovations for more information.