David Fajgenbaum Wins $15,000 Alumni Kissick Scholarship

David Fajgenbaum Wins $15,000 Alumni Kissick Scholarship

First year Wharton Health Care MBA student David Fajgenbaum has been awarded the Wharton Health Care Management Alumni Association's annual $15,000 Kissick scholarship.

The WHCMAA scholarship is given to a health care MBA student whose outside-the-classroom activities involve significant business building or health policy impact.

The scholarship is named for William Kissick, MD, PhD, who played an integral role in developing Penn's Leonard Davis Institute of
David Fajgenbaum
David Fajgenbaum, MD, MSc

Health Economics (LDI) and Wharton's Health Care Management program and was one of the national pioneers of the Medicare program.

'Perfect choice'
Associate Director of the Wharton program June Kinney characterized Fajgenbaum as "the perfect choice and epitomizes what the Alumni Kissick Scholarship reflects. If Bill Kissick were alive today, David would have been his first choice as well".

Fajgenbaum, MD, MSc, earned his medical degree at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine and his MSc in Public Health from the University of Oxford. In 2006, he co-founded the National Students of AMF Support Network which offers support and resources for students who are grieving the death of a family member or close friend. The organization was originally named with the initials of his mother, Anne Marie Fajgenbaum, who died of brain cancer in 2004. The group now uses "AMF" to both describe how it assists students in "Actively Moving Forward" as well as the "Ailing Mothers and Fathers" who are an integral part of its service community.

Grief and academic performance
The group's website notes that a grief support service was needed because 22%-30% of college students have lost a family member or close friend within the last year and research shows that students' GPA scores decrease during the semester of loss.

In 2012, Fajgenbaum, co-founded the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN) to accelerate research and treatments for idiopathic Multicentric Castleman disease (iMCD) -- a rare and poorly-understood hematologic disease.

His recent publication in the journal, Blood, proposes a paradigm shift in the concept of iMCD pathogenesis and presents a new sub-classification system.

Pharmaceutical affiliations
He is a member of Janssen Pharmaceutical's "Global Advisory Board" for Siltuximab, which recently became the first FDA-approved therapy for iMCD. He will begin the MBA Summer Intern Program at Bristol-Myers-Squibb in its Medical Affairs Oncology division in June.