Rutgers captures first place at Yale Healthcare Case Competition

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

This story originally appeared on the Yale School of Management website. It was written byWenhao Sha.

For the second year in a row, the Yale Healthcare Case Competition attracted students, industry professionals, and academic experts to Yale SOM for a day of innovation, collaboration, and competition on Saturday, February 25.

The goal of the case competition was to address some of the most difficult and exciting developments in the healthcare sector through interdisciplinary collaboration. With the tremendous support of title sponsor The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), YHCC brought together diverse teams from Yale and beyond to apply their classroom and professional knowledge to the financial and market realities of healthcare organizations.

This year, Yale SOM hosted more than 120 participants consisting of 90 competitors across 20 teams from 9 different universities including Yale, Columbia, MIT Sloan, Johns Hopkins, Rutgers, and UConn, among others. The diversity of the participants was reflected in their backgrounds, which ranged from physicians to consultants, from software engineers to lawyers, and from pharmacists to psychologists. It is precisely this interdisciplinary collaboration that best equips teams with the unique perspectives necessary to tackle the difficulties and dynamism of the healthcare sector.

Rutgers MBA students Robert Tarantino Jr., Wayne Chen, Aditya Patel and Chirag Paghdal.

The theme of this year’s case was "New Delivery Methods in Immunotherapy." Given the recent attention and resources put into the Cancer Moonshot, immunotherapy, which recalibrates the body’s own immune response to defend against disease, has been one of the most promising avenues of tackling cancer. Working in close collaboration with experts at the Jackson Laboratory and Jaan Elias, director of case study research at the Yale School of Management, the Yale SOM team developed a case that challenged teams to conceive novel and new ideas in the delivery of immunotherapies.

Teams were given one week to prepare their recommendations. From the 35 teams that applied, 20 were invited to SOM to present their solutions to a panel of industry and academic experts. The judging panel was as diverse as the field competitors; judges included JAX executives, healthcare consultants, venture capitalists, lawyers, pharmaceutical executives, and SOM’s very own Jason Abaluck.

For the preliminary round, teams were randomized to compete in four different pools. The top team in each pool along with a fifth team determined through judge consensus advanced to the finals. After another round of presentations and a rigorous Q&A session, the top three teams were determined. The day was capped off by a cocktail networking reception for teams, partners, and judges in the Beinecke Terrace Room. The winning team, consisting MBA candidates from Rutgers Business School, conceived a partnership model that would allow commercialization and development of CAR-T and dendritic cell therapies for acute myeloid leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and bladder cancer. The Rutgers team was made up of students Robert Tarantino Jr. Wayne Chen, Aditya Patel and Chirag Paghdal. Teams from Columbia University and Johns Hopkins won the second-place and third-place prizes respectively, with the winning teams taking home more than $5,000 in cash prizes.

The Yale SOM team thanks The Jackson Laboratory, QuintilesIMS, Dilworth IP, and other partners, judges, and participants for making this year’s competition such a success. It hopes that the Yale Healthcare Case Competition can continue to attract interdisciplinary talent from Yale and beyond to tackle the most pressing challenges of healthcare tomorrow.

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