Blavatnik Fellows

The Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Science Entrepreneurship is designed to foster entrepreneurial skills in the life sciences, linking emerging business leaders with breakthrough innovations from across Yale University. The Blavatnik Fellows work side-by-side with past Blavatnik awardees and applicants as well as participate in screening for this coming year’s applicants, sit with board members during deliberation, and work with a number of Entrepreneurs-in-Residence to ready faculty for final applications. 

Blavatnik Fellows

Sorin Fedeles's picture
Sorin Fedeles, Ph.D., M.B.A
2018-19 Blavatnik Fellow

Cohort 1 

Sorin Fedeles has an extensive background in academic basic research with a focus on genetic kidney diseases. Through his research he has contributed to the understanding of the genetic and molecular mechanisms of Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney and Liver Disease (ADPKD/ADPLD).   He obtained his PhD in Genetics at Yale and after his postdoc continued at Yale as research faculty. During the last few years, he spearheaded a collaboration with a bio-engineering group at MIT to develop a novel class of drugs for the treatment of ADPKD which has recently secured patent protection through the combined efforts of Yale’s OCR and MIT’s TLO teams. 

Sorin is passionate about scientific innovation and the process required to advance discoveries along the science-business continuum. In order to develop his business knowledge, he pursued an MBA at Yale SOM (class of 2016) and complemented it with fellowships in pharma BD at Boehringer-Ingelheim and life-science VC at Vida Ventures. 

 
Jamison Langguth's picture
Jamison Langguth, MPH, MSED
2019-20 Blavatnik Fellow

Cohort 2

Jamison Langguth has 2 years of biotech business development and 8 years of operational experience in the clinical setting including working with children that have craniofacial abnormalities, healthy adult patients in space and sleep medicine, adult patients addicted to marijuana and/or tobacco, and oncology patients. He has validated clinical grade wearables, worked heavily with analyzing EEG/fMRI data, as well as the delivery of novel first in human treatments using targeted large/small molecules and immunotherapies. He earned his BS in Psychology focusing on human factors from Drexel University, his first masters from the University of Pennsylvania in Education Policy and his second masters from Harvard University in Health Management. Outside of work Jamison is a Silliman College Fellow, active in the Raspberry Pi community and an avid runner.

Zhiyao Lu's picture
Zhiyao Lu, Ph.D.
2019-20 Blavatnik Fellow

Cohort 2

Zhiyao Lu joins the Blavatnik Fellowship as an entrepreneur and a scientist with experience in commercializing chemical as well as biomaterial technologies. He has expertise in synthetic chemistry, catalysis and pharmaceutical sciences. He is the co-founder and the CTO of Catapower Inc., a biomaterial company that utilizes catalytic chemical technologies to reform glycerol, a common waste by-product from agribusiness, to renewable lactate, a food and cosmetic ingredient with added value. Zhiyao bridges technical development and strategic planning at the startup company, where he realized his business goals by advancing technology, conducting in-depth market research, and building industry partnership with World Energy. In addition, he secured venture support for the continued growth of the company. Zhiyao and other co-founders led Catapower to receiving several industry innovation awards including the First Prize of USC Innovation Summit and First Place of Wrigley Sustainability Prize. Prior to Catapower, Zhiyao worked at Amphastar Pharmaceuticals as a pipeline project manager, where he explored market landscape and took the initiative with drug lifecycle management. He received his BS in pharmacy and MS in medicinal chemistry from Peking University, and PhD in chemistry from University of Southern California.

 
Natalie Ma's picture
Natalie Ma, Ph.D.
2019-20 Blavatnik Fellow

Cohort 2

 

Natalie Ma is a technologist and entrepreneur with experience developing commercial strategy for small startups to large pharmaceutical organizations and expertise ranging from molecular biology to ecology. After obtaining a B.S. in Environmental Science studying the decline of tropical marine habitats, she pursued a PhD at Yale in synthetic biology where she developed genetic barriers between engineered and natural organisms for environmental and medical applications. Post-PhD, she traveled around the world for a year, then joined ClearView Healthcare Partners to help guide commercial development of therapies in neurology, oncology, and rare diseases.

In her free time, Natalie pursues projects seeking to launch humankind into permanent space settlement and to understand the interplay between biological breakthroughs and global security, as well as cultivating a passion for foraged and wild food. 

Caroline Rufo's picture
Caroline Rufo, Ph.D.
Blavatnik Fellow

Cohort 1 

Caroline has successfully bridged the gap between science and business. With a PhD in Chemistry from Syracuse University and successful completion of a postdoc in Molecular Biology from Yale University her research has been published in top tier peer reviewed journals. Caroline has experience working in both Technology Transfer and Venture Capital at M. Ventures in Amsterdam. Caroline has a passion for the early stage healthcare and life science space. Outside of work Caroline is an avid skier and hopes to ski in all 12 months of the year.

Timothy Siegert's picture
Timothy Siegert, Ph.D.
Blavatnik Fellow

Cohort 1

Dr. Timothy Siegert received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Tufts University in 2016, working under Dr. Joshua Kritzer. His work focused on computational identification of protein segments that mediate therapeutically relevant protein-protein interactions and subsequent design of macrocyclic peptide inhibitors for use as chemical probes. Upon completing his doctoral studies, Tim transitioned to biotech beginning as a postdoctoral scientist in peptide drug discovery and quickly advanced to a full scientist role. Here, he gained experience leading a variety of early stage discovery projects in the field of peptides, small molecules and biologics.

Prior to his doctoral studies, Tim received his B.S. from Boston College with a major in Chemistry and minor in Mathematics. During his undergraduate studies, he completed multiple internships in small molecule drug discovery at large pharma companies and worked under Dr. Evan Kantrowitz at Boston College learning enzymology and structural biology.

 
Milica Vukmirovic's picture
Milica Vukmirovic, Ph.D.
2018-19 Blavatnik Fellow

Cohort 1 

Milica Vukmirovic previously served as a Venture Creation Consultant and Blavatnik Associate for OCR while she was an Associate Research Scientist in Dr N. Kaminski’s group at the Center for Precision Pulmonary Medicine at Yale. Milica’s research focused on understanding gene regulatory networks in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and development of an anti-fibrotic drug. 

Prior to coming to Yale, Milica was a Postdoctoral Fellow & Project Manager at the International Centre for Health Innovation, Ivey Business School, in Canada, where she evaluated potential for several inventions to be adopted into the health care sector. She received a PhD in Life Sciences from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and was a Postdoctoral Associate at the Florida State University, College of Medicine, where she performed research on fibrosis and in parallel, initiated a series of an Entrepreneurial Postdoctoral Panels. 

Megan Woods's picture
Megan Woods, Ph.D.
2019-20 Blavatnik Fellow

Cohort 2

Megan Woods is a trained immunologist with experience in life science technology commercialization. After obtaining a B.S. in Biology at Prairie View A&M University, she pursued a Ph.D. in Molecular Medicine at Hofstra School of Medicine. Megan’s translational research focused on the understanding the regulation and development of autoreactive B cells in the germinal center of SLE.

Prior to coming to Yale, Megan was a Fellow with Mayo Clinic Ventures, Mayo Clinic’s Tech Transfer and Business Development Department. During her 2 year fellowship she collaborated with business development colleagues  to bridge the technology development and funding gap between academia and industry.

Outside of work Megan pursues her culinary interests, including attending cooking classes and surveying local food trucks.