Dr Kjesten Wiig

Director of Strategic Partnerships

Dr Kjesten Wiig is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research.

Dr Wiig received her PhD from the University of Otago and completed her post-doctoral training at Brown University in the United States.

She worked as Director of Behavioral Neuropharmacology at Sention, a company that was spun out of Brown University based on her post-doctoral work. Sention aimed to create new therapeutics for memory loss.  She also served as Director of Neuropharmacology at Galenea, a company spun out of MIT in Boston, that aimed to create new treatments for schizophrenia. At both companies, Kjesten was responsible for all pre-clinical research, involving the development of compounds for multiple disease indications including mild cognitive impairment, Fragile X, schizophrenia, obesity and Huntington’s Disease.  She also actively participated in intellectual property strategy, and business development and managed major collaborations with universities and pharmaceutical companies. 

Kjesten then brought her experience in creating value out of science to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in New Zealand.  There, Kjesten worked as National Manager for Commercialisation and Director of Innovative Partnerships, a programme she created and grew to enable international companies to establish an R&D presence in New Zealand. 

BA (Hons), PhD (Otago)