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Yale’s Life Science Community Celebrates Innovation at the 2023 Yale Life Science Pitchfest; 4 Yale Faculty Awardees Recognized


Yale’s Life Science Community Celebrates Innovation at the 2023 Yale Life Science Pitchfest; 4 Yale Faculty Awardees Recognized

From an engineered RNA oncology therapeutics platform to an evidence-based digital mental health app, the 2023 Yale Life Science Pitchfest showcased Yale's most promising life science innovations from 32 Yale faculty-led teams. The event, held on December 7, 2023 at the Omni Hotel in New Haven, served as the semifinals for the Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale, Yale’s life science accelerator fund supporting the translation of groundbreaking research into innovative healthcare solutions. 

The day-long event drew 400 registrants—industry partners and healthcare investors from Virginia to Boston, and scientists and partners from the Yale and Connecticut biotech ecosystem—to witness Yale’s most promising research in therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, and digital health.

The community that gathers here at Yale Life Sciences PitchFest is a reflection of the people, places, and partnerships that make New Haven a place where life science innovation can flourish,” said Josh Geballe, managing director at Yale Ventures and senior associate provost for innovation and entrepreneurship at Yale. 

Following the 32 pitches and judge Q&A, four faculty-led teams were recognized for their outstanding pitches. Congratulations to the 2023 Yale Life Science PitchFest awardees:  


Daryl Klein, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pharmacology
Project: Rosevix (Rosziqumab) A ROS1 Biologic for Invasive Cancers


Jason Sheltzer, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery (Oncology) and of Genetics
Project: Expanding the universe of cancer therapies by targeting aneuploidy


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


Wendy V. Gilbert, PhD, Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry
Project: Developing therapeutic tRNAs to revolutionize cancer therapy

The goal of PitchFest and The Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale is to accelerate life science innovation at Yale and support the faculty and their teams as they seek to translate their discoveries into new ventures that can positively impact the world’s greatest healthcare challenges. We congratulate them on their incredible contributions, the energy they bring to our community and look forward to working with these scientist-entrepreneurs this year,” said Morag Grassie, Director of The Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale, which is overseen by Yale Ventures. 

A record number of faculty applied to this year’s Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale. Participating in the Blavantik Fund application cycle provides faculty with mentorship, business expertise, pitch coaching and the opportunity to as a semi-finalists to present at PitchFest, and go on to compete for a Blavatnik Award. This year an increased total of $3.2M in non-dilutive funding will be awarded to support the commercial translation of applicants’ research. Since its inception over 7 years ago, The Blavatnik Fund for Innovation at Yale has funded 63 unique early-stage life science projects resulting in the creation of 19 ventures that have collectively raised $254M, many of which call New Haven home. 

The event was sponsored by Shipman & Goodwin LLP, Jubilant Biosys, BioLabs New Haven, CDD Vault, Nona Biosciences, Piramal Pharma Solutions, Revalia Bio, and WuXi AppTec.