$25M gift to fund life sciences leadership

Chris and Carrie Shumway.

Chris, M.B.A. ’93, and Carrie Shumway. Photo courtesy of HBS

3 min read

Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB) have received a $25 million gift from The Chris and Carrie Shumway Foundation to fund programs promoting leadership in life sciences, including the M.S./M.B.A. Biotechnology: Life Sciences, a joint degree offered by HBS and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Medical School through HSCRB.

The gift will help bridge the worlds of business and science by fostering an environment of collaboration and innovation at HBS and across Harvard, supporting work on pathbreaking research and educating a new generation of leaders in the life sciences. The gift will provide support for curriculum development and programming, faculty research, and student financial aid.

“Every day we are contending with the challenges posed by a worldwide pandemic and seeing firsthand the importance of strong connections between the lab bench and the private sector,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow. “The Shumways have given us the opportunity to think deeply about how we train leaders at this intersection that will only grow in complexity and importance. We are grateful for their foresight and their exceptional generosity.”

“This gift will provide the University with the resources to support future leaders in life sciences, dramatically increase innovation and the commercialization of new discoveries, and efficiently and quickly take transformative discoveries from the laboratory to patients and the marketplace,” said HBS Dean Nitin Nohria. “The world needs more business leaders working at the intersection of science and society, with deep understanding of not only biotechnology and life sciences, but the management skills needed to help these important companies thrive.”

To meet this need, the MS/MBA Biotechnology: Life Sciences Program, welcomed its first cohort of students this past August. In supporting financial aid that will cover the incremental costs of the M.S./M.B.A. program for these students, this gift will enable Harvard to attract and support outstanding students who already have experience and knowledge in life sciences. To recognize this support, the students in this program will be known as Shumway Fellows and this program will prepare them to take on leadership roles in biotechnology and life sciences organizations.

The program builds upon students’ existing biotech and life sciences knowledge and equips them with the latest business and scientific insights. This empowers them to launch, grow, and lead transformative organizations that will advance new drug discoveries or therapeutics. Students in the program study general management at HBS and life-sciences at HSCRB, which is a joint department of Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and Harvard Medical School (HMS).