UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


VISION Leadership Programme

Hone your leadership qualities and adapt your approach to business challenges to enhance your performance and benefit your organisation.

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UCL Biochemical Engineering pioneered the VISION Leadership Programme in 2010 to cater specifically for individuals at management and executive levels within the bioindustry.

VISION provides leadership insights through intellectual analysis and intensive, practical learning to provide you with the tools required to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and global leadership in your organisation.

VISION addresses critical drivers facing the sector which create unique strategic challenges, including: IP, portfolio management, integrating new technologies, adapting to regulatory requirements, managing risks and speed to market. Designed for high-impact individuals, VISION provides key leadership insights tailored for present and future leaders in the bioindustry. This is achieved through rigorous intellectual analysis and practical peer-to-peer action based learning, which provides the required tools to drive innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership in organisations.

University College London is one of the world's top multidisciplinary universities, with an international reputation for the quality of its research and teaching. The Department of Biochemical Engineering is acknowledged as the UK Centre of Excellence in the field. Our research addresses challenges in three key sectors of the advanced bioprocessing industries: industrial biotechnology, macromolecular medicines and cell therapy bioprocessing. Due to our strong international reputation, we are uniquely positioned to partner with key industrial leaders to create an innovative programme.

VISION is recommended for:

  • Managers and practitioners fast-tracked for executive roles or intending to move into leadership positions.
  • Current executives intending to interact with fellow leaders and expert speakers to debate and exchange novel thoughts and opinions.
  • Funding agencies wanting to interact with present and future thought leaders to gain insights into the sector trends and skills required to navigate the changing bioindustry landscape.

Programme Leaders

  • Prof Eli Keshavarz-Moore: Professor of Bioprocess Science and Enterprise, Vice-Dean (International), University College London
  • Dr Naveraj Gill: Strategic Alliance Director, University College London
Speaker Biographies

Dr Rahul Singhvi: Co-Founder and CEO Resilience 

Rahul Singhvi is a global leader in the Life Sciences industry and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Resilience. 

Most recently, Rahul was an Operating Partner at Flagship Pioneering, a Boston-based life sciences innovation firm where he was responsible for founding and operating companies launched from Flagship’s innovation foundry, Flagship labs. Before joining Flagship, Rahul was the Chief Operating Officer of Takeda’s Vaccine Business Unit where he was responsible for worldwide vaccine CMC and manufacturing operations. During his six-year tenure at Takeda, the vaccine business grew to over 500 employees and created an industry leading late-stage pipeline of vaccine candidates against dengue, norovirus, and zika. Before Takeda, Rahul was President and CEO of Novavax, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVAX) where he transformed the company from a specialty pharmaceutical business to a vaccine development company with vaccine candidates against influenza (funded by BARDA) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Rahul’s professional career began at Merck & Co in 1994, where he held several positions in R&D and manufacturing.

Dr. Singhvi graduated as the top ranked chemical engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India and obtained both his M.S. and Sc.D. chemical engineering degrees from MIT. He received an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated as a Palmer Scholar.

Professor Barry Buckland: CEO, BiologicB; Ex-VP Merck Research Laboratories

PhD in Biochemical Engineering at University College London obtained in 1974.  Joined the Merck Research Laboratories (MRL) in 1980 and built a world class Bioprocess R&D group.  Leader of process development of all biologically made product candidates within the MRL pipeline and manufacture of Clinical Supplies during a 20 year time frame. Products developed within this period include MEVACOR®, ZOCOR®, IVOMEC®, CANCIDAS®, RECOMBIVAX HB®, VAQTA®, VARIVAX®, COMVAX®., ROTATEQ® (Rotavirus vaccine),  ZOSTAVAX® (shingles vaccine) and GARDASIL® (HPV vaccine).

External awards and appointments include being elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997 and Fellow of University College London in 1998.  Awards include the Donald Medal, UK Institute of Chemical Engineering in 2002, Prix Galien award:  Member of team to receive Vaccine Award for Gardasil® in 2007, Merck Board of Directors Award for leading process development for licensure of four (4) new vaccines in 2007. Chaired two International Conferences on Cell Culture (Cell Culture Engineering IV and Cell Culture Engineering V) and co-chaired the first three International Conferences on Metabolic Engineering. Co-chaired the first four International Conferences on Vaccine Technology. Author or co-author of over 70 papers.  Visiting Professor at University College London for past 15 years.  In October 2008, named by AIChE as one of the "One Hundred Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era" (defined as from World War II to Present) as part of the AIChE Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia, USA and also awarded Marvin Johnson Award by ACS (American Chemical Society) for lifetime contribution to Biotechnology.  Awarded PhRMA Discoverer of the Year award in April, 2009 for development of the Merck HPV vaccine (along with Eliav Barr and Kathrin Jansen).

Starting in May 2009; CEO, BiologicB. Since this time have provided consultancy worldwide to a number of companies and not-for-profit institutions, in all areas of Biologics including Vaccines, Therapeutic Proteins and Cell Therapy.Chair of Board for a not-for-profit organization, Engineering Conferences International. Continue as Visiting Professor at University College London. Co-Founder of start-up company Enumeral Biomedical. Head, Bioprocess Development at Protein Sciences. The first recombinant Influenza vaccine, Flublok, was licensed in January 2013. Appointed Executive Director of NIIMBL (The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals) in February, 2017.

Vicki Salmon: Impact, IP

Vicki set up Impact IP in September 2021, having previously worked in an International law firm.  Vicki is unusual in being both a patent attorney and a solicitor.  She has over 35 years’ experience in relation to matters involving intellectual property. 

She fell into IP by accident as she left University and has not looked back.  She loves learning about a client’s business and working with them to understand where IP sits in their business model and planning how best to use the different IP rights to their advantage.  That might be through capturing the IP and developing a filing strategy, through to how to license-in IP created by others, or license-out the IP the business has created.

Helping others to understand IP rights and how to use them is part of her daily life – whether that is through working with clients, training their staff or teaching students at UCL or Queen Mary College London.  She also feeds into education for the patent attorney profession, both in training her firm’s trainees, mentoring those coming up to final’s exams or contributing to practitioner text books (such as the CIPA Guide to the Patents Act).  If you want to listen to her talking about IP – you can listen here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08tg506.

She is a Council member of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, now chairing the Internal Governance Committee, having previously chaired several other committees, including the Litigation Committee and the Education Committee.

Jo Pisani: Independent Strategy Advisor

Following 30 years in industry and consulting, Jo is now focused on supporting charities, universities and business start-ups. She is chair of London’s MedCity and she serves on the boards of the UK Dementia Research Institute, LifeArc, The RSA Group, Findacure and several biotechs. She is also a member of the foresight advisory board for University of Birmingham.

Prior to this, Jo led PwC’s UK Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences practice, and spent 20 years assisting clients with strategy, transformational change and deals. She started her career at BP and then GSK, with roles in strategy, commercial and operations.

She is a passionate supporter of critical public health issues, such as tackling dementia and addressing anti-microbial resistance.  She holds a degree in Physics, an MBA from Warwick Business School and is a chartered engineer and fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology.


"VISION was a ground-breaking leadership program when I joined the inaugural offering in London, 2010. It was extremely interactive, providing great insights that became extremely relevant as my own career traversed developments and issues facing our industry over the last 10 years. I extended my network, forming connections with leaders in our industry that remain strong today. I'm very excited to see UCL, in collaboration with The University of Queensland, bring the VISION program to the Asia Pacific region. Cultivating our next generation leaders is a crucial steps in building a flourishing 21st century bio economy in Australia. UCL, with their seasoned team of international speakers are well-placed to deliver a visionary leadership programme right on our door step!" - David Glover, Executive Director, CSL

"VISION at UCL provides an opportunity for senior leaders in the life science industries to do a deep dive into the current and pressing issue of this industry. The interactive three-day format provides a forum to ask the difficult questions at the heart of this dynamic industry and explore innovative solutions. Why, at a time of unprecedented scientific discovery is the research productivity of the industry falling?
How can we extract, translate and apply the lessons from building new companies into an established industry? The focus on innovation in a virtual and politically diverse world provides real-time learning. The participants bring a diverse perspective on the issues facing the industry and the resulting discussion provided fascinating and insightful answers that greatly sharpened by thinking on problems at hand. As a consequence of the interaction with colleagues and faculty, this course builds a community that together develop a deeper understanding of the issues as well as the strategies to navigate the path forward." - Professor Charles Cooney, MIT

"VISION is a ground-breaking programme specifically tailored for Senior Executives in biopharma. The courses, briefings and workshops provide invaluable insights into the major challenges faced at Executive Team level every day. They also highlight the opportunities and creative solutions that can be utilised to tackle those challenges head on. I thoroughly recommend it." - Dr Neil Weir, CEO, Sitryx

"What sets the VISION programme apart from other courses in the leadership and innovation space is the bio-industry –focused  approach, teaching through real cases studies taught by current leaders who have experienced first-hand how it is done and what pitfalls to avoid." - Rahul Singhvi, Takeda Vaccines

Benefit for your Organisation
  • Maximise team building, facilitate joint learning and strategic alignment when several key members from an organization attend VISION together
  • Complement in-house training for succession planning and talent development
  • Gain key considerations for driving and navigating changes in business to stay ahead 
  • Enhance agility of your organization and how to translate knowledge into commercial benefit
  • Access tools for effectively working across a multi-disciplinary business, holistically identify problems, formulate strategies and adapt to change
Benefit for you
  • Know how to make the transition from science and engineering-based decision making towards company-wide strategic solutions
  • Build an invaluable network with peers and experts from academia and industry who challenge, stimulate and inspire you
  • Gain perspectives on leadership challenges and critical business issues facing bioindustry globally and formulate actions to address these
  • Learn from real-life cases studies how to succeed in making difficult decisions, also devising and implementing strategies to secure a more robust future for your business
  • Access and share best practices from experts on how to be a good leader and avoid pitfalls in constantly evolving market
  • Achieve your personal development and career objectives
  • Evaluate the impact of key innovative research and technologies on the future of business and manufacturing