Vjera is the Director of Industrial Partnerships and Commercialisation (IPC) for the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London.
The IPC team is part Imperial Enterprise division, dedicated to building and developing the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Imperial supporting both staff and students. Vjera and her team drive the translation of academic research from basic research, through proof of concept to IP protection and commercialisation through a variety of routes.
A key aspect of the team’s work is the development and management of strategic research collaborations with the healthcare industry with a particular emphasis on building multidisciplinary programmes. The Director is responsible in supporting the Faculty research strategy by developing and growing industrial engagement of the NIHR funded Imperial BRC College (Biomedical Research Centre) and its related facilities at Imperial College. Additionally, we lead the industrial engagement for the Imperial Confidence in Concept portfolio of translational projects.
Vjera has led the establishment of a number of strategic partnerships with these and continues to work with these industrial partners to expand their research and educational engagement with Imperial. Internally, Vjera continues to grow the IPC team engagement and departmental in-reach with the particular focus on assisting early career researchers in their industrial engagements as well as both curricular and extracurricular entrepreneurship training.
Vjera joined Imperial College in 2013. Before joining Imperial she spent several years as Chief Business Officer of a industrial biotechnology start up in Edinburgh working with both academia and corporates spanning sectors from diagnostics, chemicals, energy, FMCGs and healthcare. In addition, she has acted as consultant to a number of Scottish academics in developing their business plans before approaching investors as part of a Scottish Enterprise funded programme.
Before all of this Vjera spent five years in academic research in London and Edinburgh. She completed she PhD research into the role of innate immunity of early Chlamydia pneumoniae infection lung epithelial cells in the establishment of chronic inflammatory diseases in the lung and the cardiovascular system. She was particularly focused on the manipulation of Suppersors Of Cytokine Signalling (SOCS) in the establishment of persistent infections.
Vjera, a dual citizen of Croatia and UK, holds a First Class degree in Molecular Biology from University of Zagreb, Croatia and PhD in Immunology from University of Edinburgh.
She also managed to take a year out in 2010 to travel the world on the back of a motorcycle.