BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — An Indiana University Kelley School of Business center that prepares students for successful careers in life sciences and health-related businesses received a $1 million donation from alumnus Jeff Albers and his wife , Alison.
The Albers Family Life Sciences Fund will support programs within the Center for the Business of Life Sciences, giving preference to programs linked to biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, medical devices and healthcare ecosystems .
“So much of how I grew up and how I think about problems and opportunities was first honed at the Kelley School; it’s where I began to recognize areas of interest that were both challenging and rewarding,” said Jeff Albers, a 1993 Kelley graduate. Albers is CEO and former CEO of Blueprint Medicines, a global precision therapy company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that discovers and develops life-changing therapies for people with cancer and blood disorders.
“Being able to combine my appreciation for Kelley School with my passion for life sciences was a unique way for Alison and I to feel like we could make an impact for future students who share our desire to learn more about this space,” added Albers. . , who earned a bachelor of science in marketing. “Our hope is that it will allow more IU students to be exposed to opportunities within the life sciences where they can benefit society.”
Idalene “Idie” Kesner, Dean of the Kelley School and Frank P. Popoff Chair in Strategic Management, thanked the Albers for supporting a Kelley unit that is crucial to the state of Indiana.
“Kelley School’s mission is to transform the lives of students, organizations and society through education, research and service management,” said Kesner. “The Center for the Business of Life Sciences provides a great example of how we do that, serving the needs of Indiana companies whose products enable many people to live longer and better lives. Jeff and Alison Albers’ gift will enable us to do even more.” “
Founded in 2008, the center is a valuable resource for life sciences and healthcare companies, particularly those in Indiana, which ranks second among all US states in terms of science exports of the life. These companies account for nearly a third of Indiana’s total exports.
The Center for the Business of Life Sciences offers a certificate program for students who are passionate about a career in life sciences or those who want to better understand how business and science interact. Students (undergraduates and MBAs) learn through experience as they provide business planning and consulting services to technology transfer start-ups and those involved with the Indiana Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences.
The center’s industry advisory council meets several times a year and provides opportunities for life sciences executives to network across sectors. His lecture series addresses current topics such as cybersecurity in healthcare, the potential uses of artificial intelligence and smart devices, and government regulation. About 20 Kelley professors serve as faculty research fellows.
“Indiana is a disproportionately strong player in life sciences, and we’re helping to fill the pipeline of people who support the industry,” said George Telthorst, a former medical device company executive who runs the Center for the Business of Life Sciences. Life sciences. “Now there is even more appreciation for the critical mass of the industry in our state.
“Since we started, people have realized even more how important it is. This has had an impact on the number of companies making new investments in operations here. Slowly, we are getting more outside investment in start-ups. This generous gift allows us to ensure that our students continue to contribute to that success.
About half of Kelley’s MBAs who go through the center’s programs go on to work for life sciences firms after graduation, including many in Indiana.
Jeff Albers has more than 25 years of experience working in the biopharmaceutical industry and bringing important new medicines to patients with cancer and rare diseases. He joined Blueprint Medicines in 2014 as CEO and led the research-stage company through an initial public offering. Since then, it has become a leading precision medicine company. He previously served as president of Algeta, where he oversaw the successful commercial launch of a targeted cancer therapy before Bayer acquired the company.
He also held senior business and corporate development roles at Genzyme (now a division of Sanofi), including Vice President of the U.S. Hematology and Oncology business unit, and was Corporate Life Sciences Counsel at Mintz Levin Cohn. Ferris Glovsky & Popeo. His first job after graduating from Kelley was at Pfizer Inc. in Indianapolis. He currently serves on the board of directors for Magenta Therapeutics and Kymera Therapeutics and is on the advisory board for Life Sciences Cares. He also has an MBA and a JD from Georgetown University. The Alberses reside in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and have three children.