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Yale Life Sciences Pitchfest

Yale Life Sciences Pitchfest

Event overview

The annual Yale Life Sciences Pitchfest is a one-day event held each December to showcase Yale faculty innovators presenting breakthrough research projects in therapeutics, medical devices, and digital health. Over the course of the day each Yale faculty-led team presents their projects in 5-minute pitches followed by a 3-minute Q&A with a panel of judges. Following a full-day of pitches, the judges deliberate to determine the faculty awards, recognizing the most exciting life science research coming out of Yale laboratories this year.     

The Yale Life Sciences Pitchfest serves as the semifinals for The Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale. The Fund, supported by a grant from The Blavatnik Family Foundation, is a Yale Ventures accelerator for Yale faculty that supports the commercialization of applied research and technology in the life sciences. Since its inception over 7 years ago, The Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale has funded 46 early-stage life science projects resulting in the creation of 12 ventures that have collectively raised $210M, many of which call New Haven home. 

2023 Yale Life Sciences Pitchfest

Award Recipients

1st Place

Daryl Klein, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacology

Project: Rosevix (Rosziqumab) A ROS1 Biologic for Invasive Cancers

2nd Place

Jason Sheltzer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery (Oncology) and of Genetics

Project: Expanding the universe of cancer therapies by targeting aneuploidy

3rd Place

Amber Wimsatt Childs, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry; Director of Training, YSM Doctoral Internship in Clinical and Community Psychology, Psychiatry

Project: M-Select

2022 Yale Life Sciences Pitchfest

Award Recipients


1st Place

Anthony Koleske, Ensign Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and of Neuroscience; Deputy Dean for Research, (Basic Science)  
Project: A screen for small molecule regulators of TRIO GEF1 activity 

2nd Place

Kevan Herold, C.N.H. Long Professor of Immunobiology and of Medicine (Endocrinology)  
Project: Engineering beta cells for resistance to immune attack and reversal of diabetes

Farida Ahangari, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine  
Project: Targeting Profibrotic Macrophages Using Mir-33 Inhibitors, a Novel Therapeutic Approach for Pulmonary Fibrosis 

3rd Place

Anton Bennett, Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Pharmacology and of Comparative Medicine; Director, Yale Center for Molecular and Systems Metabolism  
Project: Allagium Therapeutics, driving change to better health 

Ruslan Medzhitov, Sterling Professor of Immunobiology  
Project: To identify a new class of therapeutics for inflammatory diseases

Ian Odell, Assistant Professor of Dermatology   
Project: Epiregulin Inhibition to Treat Scleroderma Skin and Lung Fibrosis

4th Place

Nicholas Economos, MD/PhD student  
Project: Hybridex Biosciences, enabling the next generation of safe gene editing therapeutics.

Rohan Khera, Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Medicine and Health Informatics   

One Year Free Bench Space c/o BioLabs New Haven

Choukri Ben Mamoun, Professor of Medicine and Microbial Pathogenesis  
Project: Potentiators of AntiMicrobial Susceptibility


Therapeutics & Medical Devices

Farida Ahangari

Targeting Profibrotic Macrophages Using Mir-33 Inhibitors, a Novel Therapeutic Approach for Pulmonary Fibrosis
Choukri Ben Mamoun headshot

Choukri Ben Mamoun, Ph.D.

Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbial Pathogenesis
Anton Headshot

Anton Bennett, Ph.D.

Dorys McConnell Duberg Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of Comparative Medicine; Co-Director, Program in Integrative Cell Signaling and Neurobiology of Metabolism; Director, BBS Minority Affairs
Bunick Head Shot

Christopher G Bunick, MD/PhD

Associate Professor of Dermatology
Desir Head Shot

Gary Desir, MD

Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity; Chair, Department of Internal Medicine; and Paul B. Beeson Professor of Medicine; Vice Provost, Faculty Development and Diversity, Office of the Provost; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Hea
Vincente Diaz

Vicente Diaz, MD, MBA

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science; Chief of Ophthalmology, Yale Health; Chief of Ophthalmology, Bridgeport Hospital, Ophthalmology & Visual Science
Tarek Fahmy headshot

Tarek Fahmy, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Immunobiology
Foss Head Shot

Francine Foss, MD

Professor of Medicine (Hematology) and of Dermatology
Peter Glazer headshot

Peter M. Glazer, M.D., Ph.D.

Robert E. Hunter Professor of Therapeutic Radiology and Professor of Genetics; Chair, Department of Therapeutic Radiology
Grutzendler Head Shot

Jaime Grutzendler, MD

Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience; Vice-Chair for Research, Neurology; Director, Center for Experimental Neuroimaging
Kevan Herold

Kevan Herold, MD, C.N.H. Long Professor of Immunobiology and of Medicine (Endocrinology)

Creating insulin producing beta cells that resist autoimmune destruction

Ruslan Medzhitov, PhD

Sterling Professor of Immunobiology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Chaar Head Shot

Cassius Iyad Ochoa Chaar, MD, MS, RPVI

Associate Professor of Surgery (Vascular)
Ian Odell

Ian Odell, MD, PhD, FAAD

thuy traan

Thuy Tran, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine (Medical Oncology)
Vinetz Head Shot

Joseph Vinetz, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FASTMH, BS

Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and Anthropology; Affiliated Faculty, Yale Institute for Global Health
Dan Wu

Dianqing (Dan) Wu, PhD

Gladys Phillips Crofoot Professor of Pharmacology
Jing Yan

Jing Yan, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology
Digital Health