Indiana University gets $1M gift to support life sciences

Indiana University has received a $1 million gift to support programs in the Kelley School of Business that help students prepare for careers in life sciences and health-related fields.

The university announced the gift Thursday morning from Jeff Albers, who graduated from the Kelley School in 1993, and his wife, Alison.

Albers has spent more than 25 years in the biopharmaceutical industry. He was most recently president and CEO for eight years at Blueprint Medicines, a Massachusetts-based company that develops therapies for cancer and blood disorders. He stepped down this month as top executive and continues as executive chairman of the publicly traded company.

The university said the Albers’ gift will support programs in the Center for the Business of Life Sciences, with preference given to those tied to biotechnology, pharma, medical devices and health care ecosystems.

“So much of how I developed and how I think about issues and opportunities was first honed at the Kelley School,” Albers said in written remarks. “It’s where I started to recognize areas of interest that were both challenging and rewarding.”

The Center for the Business of Life Sciences, founded in 2008, offers a certificate program for students pursuing a career in life sciences or  seeking to understand how business and science interact.

About half of the Kelley MBAs who go through programs offered by the center go to work for life sciences firms after graduation, the university said.

As CEO of Blueprint Medicines from 2014 to earlier this month, Albers led the company through an initial public offering and oversaw the launch of two medicines.

He previously served as president of Algeta, where he oversaw the commercial launch of a targeted cancer therapy before the company’s acquisition by Bayer.

He also has held senior commercial and corporate development positions at Genzyme (now a division of Sanofi) and was a life sciences corporate attorney at Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo.

He also holds an MBA and a law degree from Georgetown University. The Alberses live in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

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