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Larry Davidson
Center for the Business of Life Sciences

George Telhorst
Center for the Business of Life Sciences

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kelley School's new Center for the Business of Life Sciences offering executive certificate program

April 29, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University's Kelley School of Business is continuing its strong commitment to the life sciences with the establishment of a new research and teaching center and a new executive certificate program that will teach more professionals about its business side.

Larry Davidson

Larry Davidson

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Both the Center for the Business of Life Sciences and its new executive certificate program resulted from an initiative launched by the Kelley School in the fall of 2005, led by the center's first director, Larry Davidson.

The executive certificate program, which begins in September through the Kelley Executive Partners, will allow working professionals -- including engineers, researchers, scientists, product managers, logisticians and attorneys -- to conveniently learn the business behind the life sciences. It uses the same, proven method of learning employed by the school's Kelley Direct online MBA program.

Its faculty will include those who also teach in Kelley's nationally respected traditional and online MBA programs, as well as guest lecturers who have been successful in launching and running life science companies across the country.

"Our decision to offer this program is based on strong positive feedback we received from interviews we did with regional life sciences firms last fall," Davidson said. "Their reaction to this program stemmed from the unique nature of the life sciences industry and its ongoing need for developing executive management talent.

"As Indiana companies continue to expand, there will be an increased need for management talent. Potential sources for such talent are the research scientists and engineers already working at these companies," he added. "While strong within their respective technical disciplines, most of these people do not necessarily have general business training or experience. They may not have the time or the inclination to pursue a full-length MBA program. Our new certificate program is designed to address these needs."

The Kelley School also will offer these courses to managers participating in San Diego State University's new MBA Program for Executives in Life Sciences.

After reviewing the specifics of the Certificate program, the state Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has indicated that the program meets the guidelines for their Technical Accleration Grant (TAG) program. Firms that have been awarded TAG funds can use them for Certificate tuition. Firms can apply for new TAG funding by contacting their regional DWD consultant.

For more information about the certificate program, go to or call 812-855-0229. The Center's Web site is

Business Life Science

The Center for the Business of Life Sciences provides experiential learning for nearly 45 MBA students enrolled in the Kelley School's Academy PLUS Life Sciences.

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Today's announcements are a strong indication of the momentum that the new center already has gathered, said Davidson, also a professor of business economics and public policy and a member of the school's faculty since 1976. He also is now the W. Michael and William D. Wells Life Sciences Faculty Fellow, thanks to a $75,000, five-year grant from Michael Wells, president and chief executive officer of Hylant Insurance and a Kelley School alumnus, and his father.

Davidson is assisted in the new center by George Telthorst, director of business development and previously the director of the Bloomington Life Sciences Partnership and general manager of Boston Scientific's technology center in Spencer, Ind.; Kelli Conder, director of programs; and Roxie Glaze, administrative assistant..

The center's activities directly support IU's Life Sciences Strategic Plan, which IU President Michael McRobbie first unveiled in 2006. As called for in the plan, collaboration between the Kelley School and IU life scientists is a cornerstone of the center's activities.

"Larry has served as the school's life sciences liaison for the past three years and has done an extraordinary job organizing activities which inform about and further advance a variety of timely issues related to the business of life sciences," said Dan Smith, dean of the Kelley School.

"Under his leadership, I anticipate that this center will continue to leverage our external relationships to provide access to companies, data and funding for research in the life sciences and access to key players for our students, including career opportunities."

The center will continue to present its successful Indiana Life Sciences Collaboration Conference Series, which will conclude its second year on May 16 with an event in Indianapolis featuring Gov. Mitch Daniels and the presidents of Indiana and Purdue universities, "Life Sciences is a Capital Idea."

Its 15-member advisory board of industry leaders assists in the selection of conference subjects, offers input for courses in the MBA and certificate programs and provides deeper contacts within the field. A continuing goal is to create opportunities for more students to be hired as interns and employees by life science companies.

The center also will continue to provide an experiential learning experience for nearly 45 MBA students enrolled in the Kelley School's Academy PLUS Life Sciences. This study option offers MBA students a chance to take two new courses in the Business of Life Sciences. This option was recently opened up for IU graduate science, medical school and undergraduate science and business students.

Davidson agrees with Indiana business leaders who see life sciences success as a collaborative effort. "We at Kelley are proud to be working with a wide consortium of leaders who are dedicated to creating a world-class life sciences industry in Indiana," he said.