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Dr David Johnson

Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship

Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Business School
Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing 


Dr David Johnson (PhD, MSc. Res, MBA, MSc., BSc.) is an Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship at Durham University Business School, Durham University.

He is the Associate Chair for Durham University Business School's Smart & Scale initiative, which is a £9 million impact-driven research programme, designed to support SME innovation, resilience, and economic development in the North-East of England. David is also the Co-Director of the Durham Enterprise Centre and the Full-Time MBA Programme Director. Furthermore, David is a Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing and was previously a Visiting Research Fellow at Interface, a university-industry brokerage organisation that connects businesses with academics for economic and societal benefit.

David's research is centred on academic entrepreneurship, life science commercialisation, technology transfer, and university-industry engagement activities. This research has led David to Visiting Fellow positions at The Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison (US) and The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Moscow, Russia). His research is published in leading academic and practitioner journals, including R&D Management, International Small Business Journal, Industrial and Corporate ChangeThe Journal of Technology Transfer, and The European Business Review.

To date, David has raised in excess of £500,000 in research funding. His most recent grants include research investigating science commercialisation activities at the university-industry boundary (£390,824) and an interdisciplinary proof-of-concept project (£38,934), which is exploring the commercial development of a cardiology-focused point-of-care device.

Prior to joining Durham University, David was an Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship at the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, and the Academic Lead to the College of Medical, Veterinary, and Life Sciences. Prior to this, David spent over a decade working within the pharmaceutical sector within Commercial and Strategy Consulting roles. He was the Commercial Director for a start-up biopharmaceutical strategy consultancy and health data analytics firm, and has worked for leading global pharmaceutical companies within Sales and Business Development.

David obtained his PhD in Management (Entrepreneurship) and MSc. by Research (Entrepreneurship) from the University of Edinburgh Business School (UK). He holds an MBA from the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow (UK). Further, he holds science-based Masters and Undergraduate Degrees from The University of Edinburgh (UK) and The University of Leeds (UK). David also holds a PG Cert in Learning, Teaching, and Assessment Practice and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

David serves on the Editorial Review Board of the Academy of Management Perspectives. He was previously a Non-Executive Director and Trustee at the Board of Management at Borders College, and was the Vice Chair of the Regional Board. David has also served on the Board of Directors at the Veterinary Management Group - the UK’s leading representative body for veterinary professionals working in leadership and management roles.

Research interests

  • Academic Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer
  • Business models in high-technology sectors
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Life science commercialisation
  • Science-based business
  • University-centred entrepreneurial ecosystems

Esteem Indicators

  • 2024: Global Engagement Grant recipient: Knowledge exchange with Dartmouth College and colleagues at the Magnuson Center for Entrepreneurship, Technology Transfer Office, and Tuck School of Business.:
  • 2023: Associate Chair of Durham University Business School's Smart and Scale Initiative:
  • 2023: Co-Director Durham Enterprise Centre:
  • 2023: Fellow - Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing:
  • 2023: Visiting Research Fellow: Interface, Edinburgh, UK:
  • 2023: Editorial Review Board: The Academy of Management Perspectives:
  • 2022: Vice Chair of the Regional Board: Borders College, Scottish Borders, UK:
  • 2022: Board of Directors: The Veterinary Management Group:
  • 2015: Visiting Research Fellow: The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (MIT-Skoltech Initiative), Russia:
  • 2014: Visiting Research Scholar: The Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA:


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