“If you want to have an impact in life, find a field that's in the process of rapid change — and no area of the economy is changing more rapidly than biotech.”
Phillip Sharp settles in front of a tall stone fireplace at MIT's rural retreat Endicott House. His audience is rapt, as Sharp is one of the legends in biotech and a compelling speaker. Institute professor, founding director of MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research, cofounder of Biogen and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Sharp won the 1993 Nobel Prize for his work in RNA splicing.
Photo: Phillip Sharp speaking to participants in MIT Sloan's landmark program, Leading Innovative Enterprises: Strategies for Growth in the Life Sciences.
Tonight the laureate is talking strategy with a group of biotech professionals, all participants in MIT Sloan's landmark program, Leading Innovative Enterprises: Strategies for Growth in the Life Sciences. He shares war stories from his career, behind-the-scenes knowledge on the hot issues in pharma, and perspectives on the near future of the life sciences.
Sharp is just one of the headliners that makes this a “destination course.” Participants will meet many other biotech and pharmaceutical innovators during the 15-day course, which is meeting for one week in February, March, and May, and that roster turns this program into a must-do for the up-and-coming leaders in the industry.
Developed by a group of MIT Sloan's top faculty in collaboration with experts in the life sciences, the program integrates perspectives from multiple disciplines to give the Phillip Sharps of the future a leg up on the often dizzying challenges facing biotech. Participants come from the world's leading pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies to learn late-breaking business strategies, smart tools, and essential frameworks to help guide complex research organizations into states of profitability.
Another principal draw of Leading Innovative Enterprises is the stellar faculty line-up. Charles Fine, Chrysler LFM Professor of Management Science and program director, leads a 12-member faculty team that includes many of the top experts in growth strategies, innovation and technology management, systems thinking, leadership, and change.
One of the greatest — often unforeseen — benefits of an experience like this one, however, is the quality of the peer network. The participants of Leading Innovative Enterprises are the industry's next generation of leaders, and the relationships born during their three weeks at MIT may well yield the dominant companies in the future of biotech.