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President’s Entrepreneurial Fellowship Alumni Feature | Nivedita Hegdekar PhD ’22, MSL ’21

Friday, May 17, 2024

Headshot of Nivedita Hegdekar PhD ’22, MSL ’21
Headshot of Nivedita Hegdekar PhD ’22, MSL ’21
When Nivedita Hegdekar, a dual graduate of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, joined the 2016-17 cohort of the President’s Entrepreneurial Fellows (PEF), she had no idea the impact it would have on her academic and professional career.

As a PhD candidate in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program, Dr. Hegdekar knew she wanted to work in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, but wasn’t sure exactly which path she would pursue since the opportunities are so varied.

“The PEF program was the start of it all, the discovery that my love of science could continue and develop along on so many different professional career paths that I hadn’t considered before,” said Dr. Hegdekar.

With the support of her mentor, Marta M. Lipinski, PhD, Dr. Hegdekar decided to join joined the second PEF cohort and started to explore scientific career opportunities beyond the lab. The program provided just the direction she was looking for, presenting networking opportunities as well as exposure to the many facets of the biotech and pharma industry. She also became highly active in the establishment of the UMB GRID and concurrently accomplished a MSL, majoring in Patent Law.

Dr. Hegdekar’s experience was so instructive and enriching that after completing the PEF program, she continued to volunteer, mentoring other Fellows throughout her time at UMB and supporting two additional projects in 2018 and 2021 while completing her PhD.

Now working as a Strategy Consultant in Boston at IQVIA, Inc., a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services to the life sciences industry, she designs and implements solutions-based strategies for top life science and biotech companies. She attributes her success directly to the PEF program.

“The program opened my eyes to how scientific innovations can be creatively commercialized and ultimately help society. The PEF program was not a one-time learning experience but rather an investment in the next stages of my career,” she commented.

The three-month President’s Entrepreneurial Fellowship provides students with hands-on experience commercializing UMB discoveries. By working with staff from the UM Ventures, Baltimore team, UMB investigators, and entrepreneurs (many of whom are UMB faculty) and their real-world companies, the Fellows develop a unique perspective on advancing real-world, early-stage business ventures, learn about career paths they may not have known about or considered, and build a strong network that can support  them throughout their academic career and after graduation.

For more information on the President’s Entrepreneurial Fellowship, visit