Editor’s note: Innovation Thursday is a regular feature in WRAL TechWire focusing on emerging companies and entrepreneurs across North Carolina.


CHAPEL HILL – Although Brianna Vickerman began her career with plans to be a professor, that quickly evolved when she decided to take her biologically focused project further to make an impact in the medical field. Vickerman, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, targets drugs to specific disease places in the body, allowing for more effective and safer therapies to treat many kinds of diseases.  

She teamed up with UNC’s Office of Technology Commercialization and KickStart Venture Services’ Venture Catalyst Program to find the best pathway to move her technology out of the lab and into the clinic. Vickerman says she soon discovered the versatility of her platform technology could be a blessing or a curse due to the many markets they could hone in on. The sky was the limit, and she needed to target her efforts. Learn how Vickerman utilized resources from Innovate Carolina, KVS, and OTC to further her biotech startup aspirations and her ultimate goal to improve patient’s lives.

In addition to her research, Vickerman is also the program coordinator for the 3.8 Initiative in RTP, a Women In Bio program seeking to increase startup board leadership for women in the Research Triangle Park area’s life sciences and health tech innovation system.