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At the Forefront of Personalized Medicine

Posted 09/03/2014
Posted by Meagan Fazio

Kocherla holds a gene chip capable of identifying more than a million mutations in human DNA.

It takes just a quick glance at Mohan Kocherla’s resume to see his passion for education. Kocherla has five degrees, including three master’s degrees, in fields ranging from microbiology to business to bioinformatics. His most recent degree is the MBA he earned from the University’s Barney School of Business last year. He is now using that degree to help him grow Genomas, Inc., a biomedical company in Hartford.

Kocherla joined a former professor at Genomas, Inc. in 2004. Ten years later, he has gone from employee to partner in the company at the forefront of personalized medicine. According to the company’s website, the “one-size-fits-all’” approach to prescribing medications is giving way to an advanced, modern method of drug selection based on the capacity of the individual to process, or metabolize, the prescription. That capacity can be determined through analysis of the patient’s DNA.

Asked why he decided to go for an MBA, Kocherla responds, “Before receiving my MBA, my expertise was in biology and computer science. As my entrepreneurial bent increased, I was falling short in understanding my customers and investors.”

Kocherla says he initially chose Barney for its flexibility for working professionals and its personal touch. He also says Barney’s supportive faculty have helped him accomplish his goal of developing effective business strategies to guide his company in the ever-growing market of DNA-guided medicine.

Kocherla won first place in the Barney business plan competition with “Genomics and Health Care vis-à-vis Insurance and Cash-Based Business Models,” and presented it at the state-level Connecticut Business Plan Competition. At the state level he received the Inaugural Intrapreneurship Award. Associate Profession Iran Naoumova explains that intrapreneurship refers to an entrepreneurship mindset for in-company projects, a concept that is very popular now in the corporate world. She calls Kocherla a team header, his project’s “heart and soul,” and observes that “his presentation skills added to the judge’s positive opinion on his business idea.”

Kocherla sees great growth in his company’s future, thanks to the redefined business plan that he developed at Barney. “For 2014, we project multi-million-dollar revenue. I feel that the Barney curriculum has provided me with booster rockets to rise to the executive level. Though graduation marks a new journey, I will not easily say goodbye to Barney.”