Solve the ills of society


The research they presented, funded by the nonpartisan West Health Policy Center, examined the financial practices of 1,349 publicly traded biopharmaceutical companies over nearly 20 years. Specifically, the relationship between each company’s annual revenue and its reported research and development expenditure.

“The evidence indicates that these [small drug] Companies are responsible for the majority of all clinical trials and up to 40% of new drug approvals in recent years,” says Ledley, who directs the Center for Science-Industry Integration. This is important, because “the finances of established companies are radically different from those of small biotech companies”. The former make gains through product sales and profits, while the latter focus on creating new intellectual properties and new products.

Ledley and Vaughan’s findings corroborate previous research that shows how pharmaceutical companies have stacked against us, so policymakers can avoid what he calls the “false choice” of affordability or innovation. At Bentley, their work joins that of colleagues like Danielle Blanch Hartigan, who are equally committed to improving the state of American health care — and preparing students to do the same.

The beating heart of business

When Danielle Hartigan, PhD, MPH, joined Bentley’s Department of Natural and Applied Sciences 15 years ago, health care accounted for approximately $2 trillion of the US economy; it has since doubled. Understanding this fundamental axis of our society is important for future leaders of any organization, she says.

Financing and managing employee health and wellbeing affects all businesses, regardless of size, location and industry.

“But I would say there’s been a new appreciation for the role of public health since the pandemic,” Hartigan says. The stress on supply chains, mental health, the impact of sick employees, the uncertainty around an illness we are still learning about – all are real-time lessons for Bentley students. “Understanding the impact of societal health is an essential business tool.”

Hartigan has led this charge as head of the university’s Health Thought Leadership Network (Health TLN) since 2016. With more than 60 faculty and staff across 25 departments, the Health TLN is the campus hub for collaboration and health care information, connecting academia and industry to advance health-related research and education.

In the 2021-2022 academic year alone, students had access to a specialized course on the health care delivery system and nearly 1,250 internship and life science career mentorship opportunities in Boston. , one of the best biotech and medical cities in the world. Healthcare alumni zoomed in to talk with students about everything from research and clinical perspectives on the LGBTQ+ patient experience to laws, ethics and the impact of the opioid crisis. And faculty researchers have opened countless doors for students to broaden their business education by joining separate studies and making the news.

All of this is a boon for students like Andrey Dobrynin ’22, who came to Bentley from his native Moscow to build a future in finance that merges with a lifelong passion: biology. Taking traditional laboratory and economics courses as well as electives like the science and business of biotechnology, he studied Massachusetts-based biotech companies inside and out, learning about their competitors, their products , their marketing and, of course, science. As he says, “I’m learning a very unique skill set that will help me climb the ladder in the industry. »

Perception versus reality (virtual)

Across campus, PhD candidate Ja-Nae Duane agrees. Carefully put on a VR headset and she’ll welcome you to the Virtual Communications Research (VCR) lab.

The pandemic’s punitive sprint from in-person to remote care continues to cause a seismic shift in how, why and when we ask for help. Fortunately, most of us don’t have to go to the doctor every day. But for those living with cancer or another serious illness requiring specialist care, who goes the extra mile to ensure that nothing is lost in cyber-translation?

VCR has enlisted Duane and dozens of other students to dabble in this research in partnership with Health TLN and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute — and the collaboration doesn’t stop there. The VCR Lab itself was founded by Hartigan; Jon Ericson, assistant professor of information design and business communication; and Justin Sanders, Kappy and Eric M. Flanders Chair in Palliative Care at McGill University.


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