Vermishank is described as an exceptional bio-thaumaturge, who holds high academic office (as Isaac's erstwhile boss in the University of New Crobuzon) and also is strongly suspected of having ties to the government and militia.
His abilities in Remaking are so advanced that he is reckoned to be one of the only living bio-thaumaturges who can restore flight to the maimed, wingless Garuda Yagharek. He is adept enough to use the so-called Clayflesh Hex as a close-combat weapon when assaulted and questioned by Isaac and his allies.
Vermishank is portrayed as a thoroughly disagreeable man, both in appearance and attitudes.
"Vermishank was not fat, but he was coated from his jowls down in a slight excess layer, a swaddling of dead flesh like a corpse’s. He wore a suit too small for him, and his necrotic white skin oozed from his sleeves. His thin hair was brushed and styled with a neurotic fervour." - Perdido Street station, Ch 17
But his intellect and his inscrutible facade are respected by his adversary Grimnebulin, along with his technical abilities as a Remaker of flesh. He is revealed to be part of a Parliament-led plot to enslave the deadly Slake-Moths for research purposes, and subsequently to sell these entities to the drug-lord Motley. Some have inferred that due to Vermishank's dealings with Motley, the latter's intricately, grotesquely Remade form, and Vermishank's unparalleled skill, that he may have had a hand in creating the corporeal body of new Crobuzon's most dangerous gangster.
His eventual death comes with a blackpowder pistol shot between the eyes, delivered by Lemuel Pigeon, an ally of Isaac and a 'go between' in his relations with the criminal underworld.