Business Development Office

Business Development Office

The Business Development Office (BDO) works across WEHI’s research themes to identify innovative discoveries that have the commercial potential to make a positive impact on human health.

Research commercialisation

In close collaboration with our researchers, we determine how best to translate these discoveries, through avenues such as clinical collaborations, partnering with industry or exploring spinout formation, to secure the best outcomes for patients.

We design, negotiate and close deals with our external commercial partners and manage strategic alliances.

Intellectual property and agreements management

We manage WEHI's intellectual property portfolio and all agreements relating to commercialisation of WEHI's research including but not limited to material transfer agreements, license agreements, collaboration agreements, and confidentiality agreements.

Our team includes experienced patent attorneys and legal counsels who provide specialist expertise in these areas.

Education and training

WEHI’s researchers and professional staff are provided with the opportunity to develop skills in technology transfer, business development, commercialisation and entrepreneurship through our long-running Business Development Internship program as well as our newly developed Entrepreneurship program.

External engagement and contributions to local ecosystem

Our team regularly attends and actively participates in industry conferences, including those hosted by AusBiotech, BIO (general as well as therapeutic area- and region-specific) and the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). We also attend therapeutic area specific scientific conferences, for example in cancer, global health and protein degradation. 

The WEHI BDO also actively contributes to the local ecosystem, including:

  • The Association of Australian Medical Research Institute (AAMRI) and MRI Lawyers Network activities
  • The Melbourne Biomedical Precinct activities, including speaker engagements at University of Melbourne and Monash University events and participation in precinct committees
  • Global Victoria activities

Team members


Legal and licensing

Anne-Laure Puaux

Anne-Laure Puaux

Head, Biotechnology & Commercialisation

Chela Niall

Chela Niall

Head, Legal and Licensing

David Segal

David Segal PhD

Senior Business Development Manager (Cancer, Computational Biology)

Jessica Ashton

Jessica Ashton

Senior Legal Counsel

Sonja Flott

Sonja Flott PhD

Business Development Manager (Immuno-Oncology)

Profile photo of Peter HellettPeter Hallett

Senior Legal Counsel


Victoria Jameson

Victoria Jameson PhD MEntr GAICD

Senior Business Development Manager (Global Health and Infectious Diseases)

Matt Bullas

Matt Bullas

Legal Counsel


Wasan Forsyth

Wasan Forsyth PhD

Business Development Associate (Global Health and Infectious Diseases)

Sheena SegbedziSheena Segbedzi

Royalties Administrator

Photo of Seth JonesSeth Jones PhD

Entrepreneurship Lead

Bo Jones

Bo Jones

Contracts Associate

Janet Yeo

Janet Yeo PhD

Business Development Manager (Drug Discovery, Ubiquitin Signalling)

Profile photo of Deanne BurgessDeanne Burgess

Intellectual Property and Contracts Administrator

Leigh Coultas

Leigh Coultas PhD

Business Development Manager (WEHI Fund)

Photo of Ella SwaneyElla Swaney

Database Assistant

Leo Lui

Leo Lui PhD MBA

Business Development Manager (Neuroinflammation, Neuroscience, Technologies)

Profile photo of Phil TangPhil Tang 

Legal Counsel

Onisha Patel

Onisha Patel PhD

Business Development Manager (Immunology and Inflammation)

Photo of Anna Johnston

Anna Johnston 


IP Counsel


Photo of Michelle KleynhansMichelle Kleynhans BSc MBus

Business Development Manager (Entrepreneurship)