Former Yale roommates win $75K grand prize at Harvard to combat disease

Andrew Rothaus and Dr. Abraar Karan pose with their New Venture award.

Nearly two years ago, Andrew Rothaus ’11 B.A., recalls, he had a conversation with his sister-in-law who was pregnant and living in Miami, Florida, the U.S. state with highest confirmed cases of Zika virus. “She was nervous,” he says. Rothaus was already at work developing a new technology — involving a patented, multi-armed molecule called HAPI™ — and wondered if he could use it to make a long-lasting mosquito repellent.

He called up his former Yale roommate, Dr. Abraar Karan ’11 B.A., who is currently a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Both alums went to Harvard following graduation — Rothaus to Harvard Business School (he graduates this year) and Karan to Harvard School of Public Health.