Staša Stanković is a final year PhD student in Genomic Medicine at the University of Cambridge and founder of Innovation Forum Serbia, the first healthcare accelerator for startups in Serbia. Her research is focused on understanding the genetic architecture behind reproductive ageing and fertility, and their link to later life cardio-metabolic health outcomes in women. This work by Stasa and her collaborators led to the discovery of genetic signals that influence the age women begin menopause and the first evidence of our ability to, through gene manipulation in mouse model, extend reproductive lifespan and improve fertility. This has a potential to pave the way to fertility treatment that could extend the natural reproductive lifespan of women, and to novel markers to improve the prediction of early menopause.
Prior to her PhD, Staša was awarded an MPhil in Medical Science from the University of Cambridge, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. She was involved in the development of the biotech solution for the selection of the best quality embryos for the implantation in IVF clinics. Staša was also part of Congenica, genomic data analysis company, where she contributed to the development of “Congenica Neuro”, new generation product for the tailored genomic analysis of individuals with neurodevelopmental diseases, enabling clinicians to provide >20X faster diagnosis.
She is a founder of Innovation Forum Serbia with an aim to build a mechanism that will support the generation and development of Serbian healthcare startup ecosystem, and bridge the gap between academia, industry, policy makers and investors. Staša leads the strategy that places Serbian start-ups on the global healthcare scene and boosts international collaborations, access to global industrial and academic networks, mentorship by local and international experts, and financial support. In the ecosystem where this concept was unexplored, she managed to attract strategic and financial support by leading governmental (UK and Serbian Government, NHS) and industrial (Roche, AstraZeneca, Microsoft) institutions to pioneer crucial systematic changes. This enabled her to establish the first ever healthcare accelerator programme in Serbia, IMAGINE IF!.
Based on her impact she was awarded “McKinsey&Company Next Generation Women Leader” for 2020, one of the best young scientists in the Balkan and Central European region by Novartis, “Leader of Tomorrow 2020” by Global Biotechnology Revolution and one of the most innovative industry leaders for 2019 in Healthcare and Pharma industrial sector – “Young female leaders with remarkable impact” by AFA organization.