Megan Blewett, PhD

2011 Hertz Fellow
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Megan Blewett is the co-founder and Vice President of Corporate Development at Iris Medicine, a Venrock-backed therapeutics company.

She also co-founded Kelonia Therapeutics, which is engineering novel lentiviruses to achieve tissue-specific delivery of gene therapies. Megan was previously an investor at Venrock, where she worked on the launch of Federation Bio, a microbiome company developing bacterial consortia to treat serious metabolic and immune diseases.

She currently serves on the board of Convergent Research, a member organization of the Schmidt Futures Network and nonprofit start-up for Focused Research Organizations (FROs).

Megan has had a long-standing interest in developing new therapies for autoimmune conditions, and for her PhD, determined at a molecular level how the widely prescribed multiple sclerosis drug Tecfidera blocks immune cell activation. This work revealed new, potentially much safer, therapeutic approaches for suppressing the immune system and formed the foundation for the biotechnology company Vividion.

Megan’s PhD work, under Benjamin Cravatt at The Scripps Research Institute, was supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and the Hertz Foundation Fellowship. Also, while a PhD student, Megan founded the healthcare analytics company VoxHealth. Google partnered with VoxHealth to expand its health Knowledge Graph, and VoxHealth data is now viewed by millions of people every day in Google’s medical condition search results – alongside data from institutions such as Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School. Megan currently serves as a consultant to Google’s health condition search team.

Megan received her AB from Harvard, where she worked in the lab of Nobel prizewinner E.J. Corey and was co-author on three separate publications. For this work, she was awarded the Thomas T. Hoopes Prize for “outstanding scholarly work or research” in a senior thesis. She has been named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Healthcare and Business Insider’s Under 40 in Biotech.

Hertz Foundation Role

Fellowships and Programs Council

Graduate Studies

The Scripps Research Institute
Chemistry
Chemoproteomic Mapping of Electrophile-Sensitive Cysteine Residues in Human Health and Disease

Undergraduate Studies

Harvard University

Awards

2018, Forbes “30 Under 30: Science”, Forbes

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Dec 15, 2023
The challenges facing our nation and world are tangible and urgent. Yet, Hertz Foundation President Robbee Kosak believes there is a path forward — and it requires our shared commitment.
Nov 21, 2023
Hertz Fellows Megan Blewett, Adam Marblestone, and Sam Rodriques are working together to advance not just scientific research, but also how it’s funded.
May 18, 2021
From improving treatments for cancer to investigating rising sea levels, the 2021 Hertz Fellows will address the most pressing challenges facing society.
Nov 13, 2018
Forbes’ 2019 “30 Under 30” list includes three Hertz Fellows leading the way in healthcare innovation: Megan Blewett, Kyle Loh and Cameron Myhrvold.
Sep 28, 2018
In 2018, one of the four ventures awarded funding by the prize was Indicator, led by Hertz Fellows Megan Blewett, Ashvin Bashyam, and Aman Sinha, and their teammates Justin Norden and John Cannon.
Jul 17, 2015
Megan Blewett, Hertz Fellow 2011, is working to understand the autoimmune disorder multiple sclerosis (MS) by combining chemistry and immunology to study the most commonly prescribed drugs for this disease. Megan Blewett is a PhD student in chemistry at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

Related Events

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Jun 20, 2024
Special Event
In partnership with the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group and 10x Genomics, we are proud to host The Hertz Effect, a gathering of Hertz Fellows and leading innovators from across the Bay Area, taking place June 20, 2024, from 5:00-8:00 pm, inside 10x Genomics’ expansive Pleasanton headquarters.