Ljiljanais a lecturer in Bionanotechnology at University of Cambridge (Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology) and a Fellow of Sidney Sussex College. She works on design of hybrid materials for nanomedicine, in particular early cancer detection and drug delivery, development of light triggered chemistry and biofunctionalisation of nanomaterials for applications in tissue engineering.
She studied chemistry at University of Zagreb, Croatia, followed by PhD in biospectroscopy at Strathclyde University in Glasgow. Following the award of Humboldt Fellowship (2004) and Marie Curie Fellowship (2005), she worked as postdoctoral researcher at University of Dortmund studying DNA structuring and artificial enzyme design. Four years in Dortmund were followed by 7 years of independent group leader position at Centre for Functional Nanostructures at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, where she worked on phototriggered nanodevices. She joined Cambridge after a year-long break dedicated to popularization of science and writing.
Besides her academic and research activities, Ljiljana has curated art-science Future is Here exhibition (Globale at ZKM, Karlsruhe) and 3D exhibition on Molecules that Changed the World (Karlsruhe, Zagreb and Cambridge), co-designed Molecules that Changed the World app, and co-authored a field-establishing book on molecular aesthetics with renowned artist Peter Weibel (Molecular Aesthetics, MIT Press 2013).