LSM-Specific Courses

The LSM curriculum features two unique courses that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the program and help students connect the science and business elements of their education.

LSMP 1210

All LSM students participate in a first-year seminar (LSMP 1210) in their first semester, which introduces them to specific challenges in the management of life science enterprises. The first-year seminar is led by both of the faculty directors of the program, Professor Lawton R. Burns, LSM Faculty Co-Director from the Wharton School, and Professor Philip A. Rea, LSM Faculty Co-Director from the College. As described in the LSMP 1210 Syllabus, the seminar deals with four fundamental issues in the market and social management of science, including: (1) the allocation of resources, public and private, to the discovery and development process; (2) the direction and management of research and discovery; (3) the translation of discoveries into products and services; and (4) the prioritization and marketing of useful products and services. All four questions are considered from a descriptive/behavioral viewpoint (how do they actually occur?) and from a normative/social viewpoint (how should they ideally occur?). One of the texts for this course is Managing Discovery in the Life Sciences written by LSM Co-Directors Professor Philip A. Rea and Professor Lawton R. Burns, together with former LSM Co-Director Professor Mark V. Pauly. To learn more about this course check out Omnia Magazine's article about LSMP1210.

Managing Discovery in the Life Sciences

- Philip A. Rea,‎ Mark V. Pauly,‎ Lawton R. Burns 

Follow this link to listen to an interview with the book's authors. Featured on Mastering Innovation, originally aired on Sirius XM Channel 111, Business Radio Powered by The Wharton School.


LSMP 4210

The LSM program culminates with a two-semester (and two course unit) senior year Capstone course (LSMP 4210), led by Course Director Dr. Steven Nichtberger, LSM Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor in Wharton's Department of Health Care Management, and Dr. Joan Lau, Adjunct Professor in Health Care Management and Capstone Associate Course Director, together with Dr. Arun Das, Lecturer in Health Care Management and LSM Fellow. It is an intensive, project-based course in which students collaborate in teams to develop a business plan based on a sound scientifically directed understanding of the clinical utility of a novel medical advance.  

We recommend reading Omnia Magazine's story about the course and watching this informative short video featuring the 2023-24 LSM Capstone course.

During the 2023-24 academic year, the Capstone projects featured an advanced form of CAR-T therapy aimed at cancer treatment initially, with potential for autoimmune diseases in the future, as well as projects focusing on the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. The final deliverable for each Capstone team consists of a thoroughly researched, professional-grade venture capital pitch, which students present to a panel of industry experts, including members of the LSM advisory board. You can learn more about the content of the Capstone by browsing through the Course Syllabus

Beyond gaining experience in analyzing a new technology from both scientific and business perspectives, the team-orientation of the Capstone project is designed to teach students about the qualities of leadership that make for success in the real world. At the same time, it is a truly cumulative academic experience that really challenges students to pull together everything that they have learned about science and business in the College courses and Wharton courses that comprise the body of the LSM curriculum.