Launched in 2016 with a $10 million grant from the foundation, the fund is focused on advancing entrepreneurship in the life sciences and expediting the development, application, and commercialization of breakthrough research. To that end, the new grant will build on the fund's early successes and enable Yale's Office of Cooperative Research, which administers the Blavatnik Fund, to increase the number of grants awarded, including pilot grants in support of exploratory and proof-of-concept activities as well as larger grants for more established projects. In its first award cycle in 2016-17, the fund awarded eight acceleration grants to a range of projects, including one to advance therapeutics for Alzheimer's disease, fibrosis, and end-stage tumors, and another in support of promising early-stage research focused on treatments for cancer and diabetes.
The grant also will expand the Blavatnik Fellowship in Life Sciences Entrepreneurship, which engages promising early-career scientists and businesses to work with faculty innovators and the Office of Cooperative Research to develop the commercial potential of discoveries made at Yale.
"The continued support of the Blavatnik Family Foundation provides vital resources for Yale investigators, who are leading incredible projects to cross the gap between early-stage research and creation of products that improve lives and society," said Yale University president Peter Salovey. "I am deeply grateful for the foundation's confidence in the valuable research underway across campus."
"Researchers in the life sciences are constantly making novel discoveries that have a tremendous positive impact on our lives, especially in the prevention and treatment of disease," said Len Blavatnik. "Our hope is that by fostering a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem at Yale, we can significantly accelerate the application of these breakthrough discoveries to benefit those in need."
(Photo credit: Yale University)