MBA/Biomedical Translational Research and Entrepreneurship Program

Program Details

The MBA/Biomedical Translational Research and Entrepreneurship program is a two- to three-year comprehensive course of study beginning in August. Students in this program will enroll in either the part-time or full-time MBA program and join the MBA/Biomedical Entrepreneurship track. All students will be immersed for a minimum of 15 months in a T1 translational research environment within laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine to acquire hands-on biomedical experience in preparation for moving novel drugs, devices, or informatics solutions from the laboratory to clinical practice. Students enrolled in the MBA/Biomedical Translational Research and Entrepreneurship Program will acquire knowledge in research techniques, literature review, drug and device commercialization processes, institutional regulatory bodies, clinical trials, and funding opportunities.

Ethics and Professional Norms

Participants will gain an understanding of federal regulations regarding human subject and animal research, as well as the ethical norms and principles that undergird those regulations, and will acquire the ability to prepare regulatory applications reflecting that understanding. By extension, participants will become familiar with the various institutional bodies pertinent to their research area and learn the steps researchers must take to work effectively with these bodies.

Communication Skills

To reach a broader audience, participants will be required to deliver oral presentations of research at various stages, write about their research and findings for a range of audiences including investors and partners, and respond orally and textually to constructive criticism and questions. Participants will also engage in self-assessment, recognizing and addressing strengths and weaknesses in research skills.

Specific Laboratory-Based Techniques, Processes, and Practices

Students and mentors will together determine appropriate techniques, processes, and practices that are relevant to the student’s career goals. Student will be able to perform these techniques, processes, and practices adroitly and explain them in the level of detail that would be required to teach a new graduate student or postdoctoral member of the laboratory.

Literature Relevant to Trainee Project

Participants will identify gaps in published studies that use various research methodologies and identify possible sources of bias, confusion, and potential health disparities. Additionally, they will conduct comprehensive literature reviews from appropriate sources across disciplines.

The Tepper MBA requires 192 units of coursework. In this program, credit is earned via 96 units of required core courses (16 half-semester courses), 66 units of electives (11 half-semester electives), and 30 non-tuition-bearing units associated with student’s completion of the ICRE Entrepreneurial MBA Translational Research Training Program. The school will award qualifying participants in the program a tuition scholarship.

Participants will first meet with the University of Pittsburgh and Tepper School leadership team and subsequently interview with three potential laboratories to identify suitable projects appropriate to their interests. After a mentor (and co-mentor, where appropriate) is chosen, participants will organize a research & commercialization advisory committee composed of two to four faculty, and develop an individual development plan (IDP). The major component of the Entrepreneurial Research training program will be experiential learning in basic, translational, or clinical biomedical sciences with an expectation of a 20-hour per week commitment over a 15- to 18-month period (note: hours and contact time can be tailored to specific project requirements).

Formal Didactic Course work (as required based on IDP)

CLRES 2700 Fundamentals of Bench Research
CLRES 2140 Best Practices
CLRES 2076 Introduction to Grant Writing

Informal Learning Opportunities

Physician-Scientist "Survival Skills" Conference series (5 hours of preparation/15 hours of participation)

While working on MBA required courses, identify a role in a project, deliverables, and goals for the next year. For example: drug discovery bench science project; research coordinator for clinical research project; develop SBIR/STTR with collaborator of mentor. Receive approval of project goals and deliverables from program director.

Develop appropriate regulatory documents for the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or Institutional Review Board (IRB) for a project in student’s lab.

FDA/NIH/Industry rotation, if appropriate

Laboratory-based project and training

Institute for Clinical Research Education
200 Meyran Avenue, Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


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