Plenary Speakers

David Mooney

DMooney Harvard.photo.04David Mooney is the Pinkas Family Professor of Bioengineering in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a Core Faculty Member of the Wyss Institute. His laboratory designs biomaterials to make cell and protein therapies effective and practical approaches to treat disease. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors. He has won numerous awards, including the Clemson Award from the SFB, MERIT award from the NIH, Distinguished Scientist Award from the IADR, Phi Beta Kappa Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award from Harvard College. His inventions have been licensed by numerous companies, leading to commercialized products, and he is active on industrial scientific advisory boards.

Jan E. Schnitzer

Schnitzer Jan E.Jan Schnitzer received his B.S.E. degree in Chemical Engineering (biomedical emphasis) from Princeton University in 1980 and his M.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in1985. After postdoctoral training at the Department of Cell Biology at Yale University School of Medicine, he joined the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in 1990. He moved his lab to Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Hospital in 1994 and was promoted to Associate Professor. He returned to San Diego in 1999 and became Scientific Director at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. In 2009, he founded a new non-profit biomedical institution, the Proteogenomics Research Institute for Systems Medicine (PRISM). The focus of his research is on defining critical barriers to drug delivery and on the cell biology of the endothelium, mostly trafficking mechanisms mediating transvascular exchange. Recently his laboratory has integrated mass spectrometry- and antibody-based proteomics with various imaging modalities to map the in vivo expression of proteins on the endothelial cell surface and its caveolae in major organs and solid tumors. His lab discovered the caveolae pumping system including novel delivery targets in caveolae that actively transport imaging and therapeutic modalities across endothelial barriers and into diseased tissues, including various solid tumors. He is the President and CEO of PRISM and has served as consultant and board member of several biotech companies and funding agencies over the years.

Peter Turecek

TurecekSince joining R&D in the pharmaceutical industry in 1989, Dr Turecek has held management positions in Immuno, ÖIH, Baxter, Baxalta and Shire, in areas of vaccines, recombinant proteins, downstream processing, plasma fractionation, as well as diagnostics and preclinical product characterization. His work resulted in 815 patents in 75 patent families, and in more than 130 peer-reviewed papers and book articles.

Dr Turecek holds a doctorate in biochemistry, a magister pharmaciae degree, and a diploma in business administration. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Vienna. There and at other universities he lectures as guest professor of pharmacology and toxicology, pharmaceutical- and protein-biotechnology, and quality and regulatory affairs issues of the biopharmaceutical industry.

Dr Turecek’s fields of expertise in pharmaceutical biotechnology in general include in particular blood derivatives, plasma products, down-stream processing, protein purification and characterization, pathogen inactivation, and protein-modification and -engineering. He represents biopharma to international regulatory authorities and to scientific and public organizations and is a frequent speaker at international scientific and academic conferences. He is chairman of the Standards Committee “Haemostaseology” of DIN and of the Blood Products Committee of BIOSafe Special Biologics Expert Working Group, and is assigned by the Federal Republic of Austria as a permanent specialist to Group of Experts Nr. 6B on Human Plasma and Plasma Products and Nr. 6 on Biological and Biotechnological Products in the European Pharmacopoeia.


Invited Speakers

Lorenzo Albertazzi

AlbertazziLorenzo Albertazzi is Group Leader at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, in Barcelona. He obtained his M.Sc. in Chemistry and PhD in Biophysics from Scuola Normale Superiore. After a short stay at the University of California Santa Barbara he spent four years at the Eindhoven University of Technology as postdoc. He moved to Barcelona in 2015 to start the Nanoscopy for Nanomedicine group (http://ibecbarcelona.eu/nanoscopy). For most of his career he has been jumping between Chemistry and Biophysics: his group is now trying to combine them to achieve a molecular understanding of synthetic materials in the biological environment using advanced microscopies.

 

 Cameron Alexander

Alexander CameronCameron Alexander is Professor of Polymer Therapeutics, an EPSRC Impact Fellow, and Head of the Division of Molecular Therapeutics and Formulation at the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham, UK.  Professor Alexander received degrees (BSc and PhD) in Chemistry from the University of Durham, UK and carried out post-doctoral research at the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis, University of Cambridge. He is a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award Holder, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a recent (2009-2014) EPSRC Leadership Fellow, and has published nearly 200 refereed articles. From 2006-2016, Professor Alexander led the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Therapeutics and Nanomedicines at Nottingham and University College London with a number of leading pharmaceutical industry partners. He received the Royal Society of Chemistry Macro Group Medal 2014 for contributions to polymer science. Professor Alexander has been fortunate to work with scientists from more than 20 countries in his research group and is proud to serve in EU-funded projects with fellow European colleagues and friends.

Roey Amir

AmirRoey was born and raised in Tel-Aviv and after backpacking through North- and South-America he began his undergraduate studies at Tel-Aviv University. Roey received a B.Sc. in chemistry with excellence and than carried out his MSc and PhD research under the guidance Prof. Doron Shabat, working on the development of Self-Immolative Dendrimers. After his PhD studies, Roey received the prestigious Rothschild post-doctoral fellowship and joined the lab of Prof. Craig Hawker at the Materials Research Laboratory in UCSB for his post-doctoral studies. In 2012, Roey returned to Israel and joined The School of Chemistry at TAU as a senior lecturer. He received the prestigious Allon Fellowship for young scientists (2013-2015) and was recently selected as a 2017 Young Investigator by the ACS Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Division. His lab currently holds eight students (PhD & MSc) and the research of the group focuses on the design of stimuli-responsive polymers with special attention to enzyme-responsive polymers, as building blocks for the formation of responsive assemblies for biomedical and materials based applications. Since March 2017, Roey is also serving as the academic head of the medicinal chemistry unit at the BLAVATNIK CENTER for drug discovery at TAU. 

Marianne B. Ashford

AshfordMarianne is Senior Principal Scientist in Advanced Drug Delivery, Pharmaceutical Sciences within Innovative Medicines Biotech Unit at AstraZeneca. In this role, Marianne in responsible for applying drug delivery approaches to improve therapeutic index of medicines and is working to enable novel targets via successful intracellular delivery of new modalities such as nucleic acid and peptide drugs. This is achieved both via internal research programs and through external collaborations. Marianne has initiated a number of collaborations, which has resulted in the introduction of nanomedicines into our Oncology development portfolio and clinical development. She is a member of the global Pharmaceutical Sciences and Oncology Science Leadership teams.

Matthias Barz

Barz MatthiasDr. Matthias Barz studied chemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (Germany) and Seoul National University (South Korea) received a diploma degree in chemistry in 2006 and a PhD in polymer chemistry from the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (Germany) working under the supervision of Prof. R. Zentel in 2009. After finishing his PhD he joined the groups of Dr. Maria J. Vicent at the CIPF (2010) and Prof. T. Kirchhausen at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (endocytosis of nanomedicines, 2011-2012). In 2013 he became independent junior research group leader and started his habilitation at the Institute of Organic Chemistry at the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz (Germany). He successfully finished his habilitation and obtained the veni legendi for organic chemistry in 2016.

Dr. Matthias Barz was member of MAINZ (The Graduate School of Excellence "MAterials science IN mainZ") from 2007-2009 and joined MAINZ again in 2014 as associated senior faculty member. He received the research prize of the Emil und Paul-Müller-Gedächtnisstiftung and the Roche pRED Award for Excellence in Drug Delivery at the Roche-Nature Biotechnology Symposium 2014. He is currently member of the steering committee of the collaborative research center for nanoparticle based cancer immune therapy, spokesman of young scientist (SFB 1066) and head of the graduate school. 

He has published more than 60 publications, editorials & reviews, book chapters, patents and patent applications. His research focuses on the synthesis of polypept(o)idic nanomedicines for therapy (chemotherapy and immunotherapy) and diagnosis (MRI and PET imaging) with the aim to achieve the required complex functionality by simple, versatile and scalable synthetic methods.

Carsten Behrens

BehrensCarsten Behrens obtained his MSc in bioorganic chemistry in 1992. After a brief research stay with Professor Leo Paquette at Ohio State University from 1993 to 1994 working on natural product synthesis, he returned to Denmark and obtained his PhD with Professor Peter E. Nielsen at the University of Copenhagen in 1997 on peptide nucleic acids and DNA minor groove binders. Since then he has been employed at Novo Nordisk A/S working with small molecule synthesis, combinatorial chemistry and later peptide and protein based drug discovery in the field of diabetes, hemophilia, and growth disorders. His current research is focused on the application of half-life extension technologies, in particular albumin binder and polymer conjugation technologies for extending the circulation time of complex proteins in blood. Carsten Behrens is author or co-author of 25 peer-reviewed publications and named inventor on 36 original patent applications.

 

Mary Bossard

Bossard 1Dr. Mary Bossard is currently a Principal Fellow at Nektar therapeutics. She obtained a BA in chemistry from Central College, Pella, Iowa and a PhD from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in Chemistry with a research focus in mechanistic enzymology. She was an NIH post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley in the biophysical division of the chemistry department where she used isotope effects to study enzyme reaction mechanisms. Mary spent several years doing drug discovery at what is now GlaxoSmithKline in the departments of Medicinal chemistry and Molecular Recognition purifying enzymes, developing assays and studying enzymes as the drug targets for small molecule inhibitors. She returned to Nebraska working at BioNebraska/Restoragen where proteins and peptides were the products. There she did process research and assay development where the focus was on making scalable, cost effective peptide/protein purification and chemical post-translational modification production processes that could be transferred to GMP production and eventually commercial production of biological drugs. Mary has had multiple roles since joining what is now Nektar therapeutics in 2002. As department head she was responsible for in house genetic engineering and production of proteins for initial proof of concept studies on proprietary proteins using Nektar’s PEGylation technology and scale up of PEG conjugates to pilot scale (10s of grams) for formulation and GLP toxicology studies. She was also the technical team lead for all contract partnered protein conjugation projects, one of which led to Shire’s (formerly Baxter/Baxalta) commercialization of a long acting FVIII, Adynovate®. Currently she focuses on strategy for new product concepts and expansion of Nektar’s polymer platform technology.

Deborah Charych

Charych Headshot PhotoDr. Deborah Charych has held senior scientific leadership positions in both academia at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and in biotechnology at Chiron Corporation, FivePrime Therapeutics, and now at Nektar Therapeutics. At Nektar Therapeutics, she leads the strategic development of the Immuno-Oncology pipeline and identified a novel approach to modulate the tumor microenvironment using polymer-molecular engineering. This work led to the development of NKTR-214, a biased agonist of the IL-2 pathway, currently in Phase 2 clinical development. Alternative engineering of the IL-2 pathway led to the clinical development of NKTR-358 for autoimmune disease. NKTR-358 is currently in Phase I and successfully partnered with Eli Lilly. Follow-on cytokine and small molecule immune modulators are slated for the clinic in 2018 (NKTR-255, an IL-15 receptor agonist and NKTR-262, a TLR 7/8 agonist). At FivePrime Therapeutics, Deborah led a team that contributed to the clinical development of FP-1039, a pan-FGF inhibitor biologic for oncology in Phase II clinical trials. As Director of FivePrime’s Process Development group, she also led the downstream process development of several complex fusion biologics for oncology and inflammation, scaling from Research to GMP manufacturing. While at Chiron Corporation she initiated and led a large proteomics effort to guide oncology target discovery. She also developed novel combinatorial libraries of peptoids to develop immune adjuvants and drug delivery agents. At Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, she assumed an academic leadership role as Principal Investigator, focusing on new polymeric materials for biosensor applications. Deborah’s formal education is in Chemistry, earning a PhD from University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Chemistry from Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.

Alberto A. Gabizon 

GabizonAlberto Gabizon pioneered the development of a new generation of long-circulating liposomes known as Stealth liposomes which have greatly improved stability and selective accumulation in tumors. Dr. Gabizon's inventorship and research contribution played a key role in the development of DOXIL (pegylated liposomal doxorubicin, also known as Caelyx), a unique anticancer formulation extensively used in the clinic (ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and other cancer types) with important pharmacologic and safety advantages over conventional chemotherapy. His most recent invention currently in clinical studies is PROMITIL (pegylated liposomal mitomycin-C prodrug), a formulation with improved safety over the parent drug mitomycin C, that may be particularly useful in DNA repair-deficient tumors. In 2011, he founded Lipomedix Pharmaceuticals Inc., a start-up company aimed at developing PROMITIL and other inventions in the field of cancer nanomedicine. Dr. Gabizon has received the Alec Bangham Life Time Achievement Award of the International Liposome Research Society (2010). He has published over 150 articles and specialized book chapters, and is an inventor of 10 USPTO-approved patents. Since 2001/02, Dr. Gabizon is Director of the Oncology Institute and Laboratory of Experimental Oncology at Shaare Zedek Medical Center, and Professor of Oncology at the Hebrew University-Faculty of Medicine in Jerusalem.

Margit M. Janát-Amsbury

Janat-AmsburyDr. Janat-Amsbury received her medical training and MD, PhD degrees from the Albertus Magnus University in her hometown Cologne, Germany. Following her OB/GYN residency she went on to expand her oncological training at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, NY under the mentorship of Howard W. Bruckner, MD a world-renowned Oncologist and the University of Utah’s Center for Controlled Chemical delivery where she enjoyed the combined mentorship of Profs. Sung Wan Kim, PhD and Jindrich Kopecek, PhD educating her in the areas of Gene- and Drug Delivery. Continuing on with her clinical education she joined the department of OB/GYN in Maastricht at the academisch ziekenhuis Maastricht (azM) and the University of Maastricht (UM) prior being recruited by the Division of Gynecologic Oncology of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. She currently holds a faculty appointment as Associate Professor and currently serves as the Research Director for the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Utah’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Developing her MD, PhD career in the field of gynecologic oncology, she has focused her scientific interests towards the generation of disease models that more faithfully recapitulate the human scenario, including development of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models for gynecologic cancers, as well as immune-competent mouse models. Her team utilizes these models to develop and clinically translate new cancer therapies, drug delivery, and nanomedicine-based technologies. The development of these relevant model systems for preclinical testing is expected to yield more predictable information helpful to advance these novel products to clinical applications and the marketplace.

Dr. Janat-Amsbury has continuously received funding for her research from a wide variety of entities such as the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Defense, the National Institute of Health, but also foundations and the private sector, which allowed her translational research experience to expand and grow. She also developed and guided several therapeutics and devices from bench to bedside. One example includes a novel intraperitoneal IL-12 polymeric cancer immune therapy to treat ovarian cancer patients with recurrent disease. Known as GOG-170Q this drug successfully advanced through nationwide clinical trials allowing as Dr. Janat-Amsbury was able to expand her knowledge beyond the translational and clinical space into regulatory matters. The importance of timely and successful translation of laboratory findings into the clinic and the patients benefit define her laboratories main missions to create more gynecologic cancer focused grant funding by fostering interdisciplinary collaborations with the goal to build a stronger, “Translational Women’s Cancer Program” at her Home Institution the University of Utah. To achieve the aforementioned goals, she founded her multidisciplinary laboratory in 2007 at Utah to work in the key areas of generating more predictive disease models for gynecologic malignancies, and developing innovative bench-to-bedside strategies for vaginal and intraperitoneal drug delivery technologies. Her team aims to facilitate partnerships across campus as well as other academic institutions and industry to translate novel findings efficiently to the clinic and train the next generation of scientists committed to make a difference in women’s cancer care. 

Arwyn Jones

JonesArwyn gained his PhD in protein biochemistry and crystallography at Birkbeck College, University of London. Then he undertook postdoctoral positions investigating endocytosis at the University of Liverpool in the UK and Harvard University Boston USA. In 2000 he was awarded a European Molecular Biology Organization fellowship to work at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg Germany, and continued at the EMBL when he was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Scholarship. He was appointed as Lecturer at the Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Cardiff University in 2001 where he is now a Professor in Membrane Traffic and Drug Delivery.

In addition to scientific research, Arwyn also has a very wide interest in public engagement with science and has organised a number of large exhibitions focusing on e.g. stem cell biology, tissue engineering, pollination and neuroscience. Through a BBC scholarship, he gained a Diploma in Journalism qualification from Bangor University and for a number of years he has been a regular face and voice in the Welsh media discussing scientific issues.

Projects in his lab fall under cancer cell biology, endocytosis and drug delivery, concentrating on linking knowledge of endocytosis to enhance our capacity to deliver small and macromolecular therapeutics to defined regions of cells. He actively collaborates with a number of national and international groups and has published widely within the fields of endocytosis, drug delivery vectors and more advanced nanoformulations. These include systems based on e.g polymers, peptides, exosomes and antibodies. A major current laboratory focus is on cell uptake of ligand decorated nanoparticles, exosomes and antibodies targeting plasma membrane receptors. He currently sits on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Controlled Release, Membranes, The Young Darwinian and Gwerddon.

Twan Lammers

Twan LammersTwan Lammers obtained a DSc degree in Radiation Oncology from Heidelberg University in 2008 and a PhD degree in Pharmaceutics from Utrecht University in 2009. In the same year, he started the Nanomedicine and Theranostics group at the Institute for Experimental Molecular Imaging at RWTH Aachen University Clinic. In 2014, he was promoted to full professor at the faculty of medicine at RWTH Aachen. He has published over 150 research articles and reviews, and received several scholarships and awards, including a starting and proof-of-concept grant from the European Research Council, and the young investigator award of the Controlled Release Society. He is associate editor for Europe for the Journal of Controlled Release, and serves on the editorial board of several other journals. His primary research interests include drug targeting to tumors, image-guided drug delivery and tumor-targeted combination therapies.

 

Hua Lu

Lu

Prof. Hua Lu is an assist professor in the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University. He obtained his B.S. from Peking University in 2006 and PH.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011. He worked as a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation postdoctoral fellow at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI, La Jolla, CA) before he started his independent research in Peking University in 2014. His research focuses on the development of methodologies for the controlled synthesis and medical applications of poly(α-amino acid)s, sustainable polymers, and protein-polymer hybrids. He is a recipient of ACS AkzoNobel Award for Outstanding Graduate Research in Polymer Chemistry (2013), Excellent Young Investigator Grant of NSFC (2017), and Young Investigator Award of the Chinese Chemical Society (2017).


Muthiah “Mano” Manoharan

ManoharanDr. Muthiah Manoharan (“Mano Manoharan”) serves as Senior Vice President of Innovation Chemistry at Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Dr. Manoharan joined Alnylam in 2003. He built the chemistry group at Alnylam and pioneered the discovery of GalNAc conjugated siRNAs for RNA interference (RNAi) based human therapeutics. He was the former Executive Director of Medicinal Chemistry at Isis (Ionis) Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading biotechnology company focused on antisense oligonucleotide-based therapeutics where he had a 12-year tenure. With a distinguished career as a world-leading chemist in the areas of oligonucleotide chemical modifications, conjugation chemistry and other delivery platforms, Dr. Manoharan is an author of more than 200 publications and over 300 abstracts, as well as the inventor of over 200 issued U.S. patents. Prior to Isis Pharmaceuticals, Mano earned his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and conducted post-doctoral work at Yale University and the University of Maryland. He was the recipient of the M. L. Wolfrom award of the ACS Carbohydrate Chemistry Division in 2007.

Yasuhiro Matsumura

MatsumuraDr. Matsumura discovered the EPR effect, which serves as the theoretical underpinning for the drug delivery system, in the laboratory of Prof Maeda, at Kumamoto University, Japan. He discovered the abnormal splicing of CD44 mRNA in various cancers and successfully developed a monoclonal antibody (mAb) against CD44 v2 in the laboratory of Dr. Tarin at the Nuffield Department of Pathology, University of Oxford. He had recognized that cancer-induced blood coagulation in human tumor generates insoluble fibrin-rich cancer stroma in which uneven mAb distribution reduce the potential effectiveness of mAb-mediated treatments. He developed a mAb that reacts only with insoluble fibrin and not with fibrinogen or the fibrin degradation product. He then created an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) using the anti-insoluble fibrin mAb conjugated with a chemotherapy payload. The conjugate contains a linker severed specifically by plasmin, which is activated only on binding to insoluble fibrin and is neutralized by α2-antiplasmin in the blood stream. The ADC treatment significantly extended the survival of the KPC mice with spontaneous pancreatic tumors possessing fibrin-rich tumor stroma as in human cancers. In this context, he proposed the concept of cancer stromal targeting (CAST) therapy. He identified TMEM180, an eleven-pass transmembrane protein, as a new colorectal (CRC)-specific molecule and then succeeded in developing the anti-TMEM180 mAb. He found that the molecule endows CRC cells with cancer stem cell (CSC)-like characteristics.

Awards

2005 : Japan  DDS  Nagai Memorial Award.

2006 : Tamiya Memorial Award

2016: Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate Chemistry

Gianfranco Pasut

PasutGianfranco Pasut is Full Professor of "Pharmaceutical Technology" at the Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences Department, University of Padova. He received a M.S. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology in 1999 and the PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2003 from the University of Padova. He is an expert in polymer conjugation and drug delivery, in particular in the application of PEGylation to biotech drugs. His main research interests are in chemical and enzymatic method of polymer conjugation to bioactive molecules, targeted polymer-anticancer drug conjugates, stealth liposomes and ADC. In the field of drug delivery of small drugs, he investigated targeted conjugates and conjugates for combination therapy for the treatment of cancer. He has published more than 80 articles, 12 book chapters and he is the inventor of 8 patents in the field of polymer conjugation.

Steve Rannard

RannardSteve Rannard is a materials chemist at the University of Liverpool (UoL) where he holds a personal Chair in the Department of Chemistry. He is the academic lead for Nanomedicine within the Materials Innovation Factory and Director of the Radiomaterials Laboratory. After his D.Phil funded by BP, Steve spent 16 years in industry (Cookson, Courtaulds, Unilever) and has co-founded three start-up companies (IOTA NanoSolutions Ltd, Hydra Polymers Ltd and Tandem Nano Ltd). Scientific recognition includes being the first recipient of the RSC/Macro Group UK Young Researcher of the Year Medal, sequential RSC Industrial Lectureships (Strathclyde, ’01; Sussex, ‘02), visiting Lectureship at Sussex (‘99-‘01), visiting Professorship at UoL (‘03-‘07) and a Royal Society Industry Fellowship (‘05). He is co-author of >120 scientific publications and co-inventor of >90 patent families (>150 national grants). Steve also co-founded the Recent Appointees in Polymer Science (RAPS) group, the British Society for Nanomedicine and the Journal of Interdisciplinary Nanomedicine. He currently acts as an advisor to the Welsh Government in the Welsh Stars strategy programme, the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and on the UK Government’s Innovate UK Steering Committee for Emerging Technologies and Industry. Since his first academic grant in 2009 his collaborative grant income from funders including MRC (UK), EPSRC (UK), NIH (US), USAID, CRUK, CHAI, BSAC (UK) and industry has exceeded £22m and his current research focuses materials science onto unmet medical/clinical needs to target new patient benefits using scalable nanoparticle synthesis, solid drug nanoparticle formulation and nanoemulsion platforms. Human trials of orally dosed antiretroviral solid drug nanoparticles from UoL are ongoing with the aim to reduce pill burden, cost of therapy and simplify treatment options.

Cristianne Rijcken 

RijckenDr. Cristianne Rijcken is the founder of Cristal Therapeutics, and serves as Chief Scientific Officer of the company. Dr. Rijcken’s PhD thesis provided a strong basis for Cristal Therapeutics and she was awarded multiple grants and prizes including the Simon Stevin Gezel Award in 2008 and the Knowledge for Growth Inspiring Young Scientist Award in 2014. She is (co-) author of 28 scientific publications and co-inventor of all patents and patent applications of Cristal Therapeutics. Recently, Cristianne is selected as Limburg Businesswoman of the Year 2017 because of her innovative mind-set, the perseverance upon translational activities and her entrepreneurial attitude. Dr. Rijcken is pharmacist by training and holds a PhD degree in Pharmaceutics from Utrecht University.

Ronit Satchi-Fainaro

Satchi FainaroRonit Satchi-Fainaro is Head of the Cancer Angiogenesis & Nanomedicine Laboratory; Chair of the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine and serves on the Preclinical Dekanat of the Faculty of Medicine. Prof. Satchi-Fainaro received her Bachelor of Pharmacy from the Hebrew University, Israel (1995) and her Ph.D. from the University of London, UK (1999). She then spent two years as postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital Boston working with Judah Folkman on novel angiogenesis-targeted nanomedicines. In 2003, she was appointed Instructor in Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She joined Tel Aviv University in 2006.

Prof. Satchi-Fainaro is a leader in the field of nanomedicine and angiogenesis (cancer and vascular biology). She has major expertise in tumor biology, tumor dormancy, angiogenesis, molecular imaging, non-invasive intravital imaging of animal models, personalized nanomedicines for cancer theranostics (therapy and diagnostics). Throughout, she has maintained an interest in understanding the biological rationale for the design of nanomedicines suitable for transfer into clinical testing. Her multi-disciplinary research laboratory focuses on basic research elucidating the mechanisms underlying the switch from cancer dormancy leading to the discovery of new molecular targets interrupting host-tumor interactions. Her approach is followed by the design of highly-selective targeting molecules integrating biology, chemistry, protein engineering, molecular imaging, computational approaches, material sciences and nanotechnology to selectively guide drugs into pathological sites.

Prof. Satchi-Fainaro serves as advisor to several Israeli and International Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical companies, was President of the Israeli Society for Controlled Release, and is on the editorial boards of several biological and chemical journals. She has published more than 100 papermanuscripts, 12 book chapters, edited 2 books, is named inventor on 45 patents, and was awarded numerous prestigious grants and prizes, among them Fulbright, Rothschild, Wingate, Alon, Young Investigator Award of the European Association for Cancer Research, JULUDAN Prize for the Advancement of Technology in Medicine, and the 2013 Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Founders Award for the Discovery of new molecular mechanisms and targets that would lead to new therapeutic approaches. Her scientific achievements were acknowledged numerous times by inclusion in honorary lists by leading magazines such as “the 50 Most powerful and influential women” list of the Forbes journal, Israel (2014, #13/50), “50 Most influential women of 2011 and 2013” lists of the Globes journal, Israel, "50 Most promising women” list of the Calcalist journal, Israel (2009) and “40 people under the age of 40" list of the TheMarker journal, Israel (2008). Recently, she received the European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Award, the Saban Family Foundation-Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) Team Science Award, was elected the next 2019 Chair of the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Cancer Nanomedicine and was selected to represent Israel at the Biennale in Venice in 2016.

Sonke Svenson

SvensonSonke Svenson received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. After postdoctoral research appointments in the U.S. at Purdue, Northwestern, and Princeton Universities, Sonke assumed positions with increasing responsibility at The Dow Chemical Company, Dendritic Nanotechnologies (DNT), Cerulean Pharma, Preceres LLC, and GreenLight Biosciences, focusing on the development of nanoparticle formulations for small drug molecules and biomolecules. Since September 2017, Sonke is the Managing Director of NanoCarrier U.S., the wholly owned subsidiary of Tokyo-based pharmaceutical company NanoCarrier Co., Ltd.

Sonke is an editorial board member of the journal Drug Delivery. He has organized multiple international symposia with focus on drug delivery. Sonke is the editor of four books on drug delivery applications, has (co)authored 40+ peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, and given 45+ oral/poster presentations at international symposia. Sonke is a co-inventor on 14 patents/patent applications in drug delivery and particle engineering.

Michael Wagner

WagnerMichael Wagner studied chemistry at the University of Mainz, Germany and Cornell University, USA. In 2002 he received his Ph.D. in Organic & Bioorganic Chemistry from the University of Mainz and joined Sanofi (Aventis at the time) right afterwards as principal scientist. Since then, in positions with increasing responsibility, he has built a successful track record of delivering high quality candidates for preclinical & clinical development in a variety of indications, including cardiovascular disease, pain, osteoarthritis and diabetes but also for imaging purposes. In 2010, Michael accepted a director position within the Diabetes Therapeutic Unit as Head of Medicinal Chemistry. Since 2011, Michael has been establishing a professional peptide drug discovery group in Frankfurt and became department head “Peptides & Insulins” in 2016. Since October 2017 Michael is leading the newly formed department “Synthetic Medicinal Modalities” within Integrated Drug Discovery, which takes care of peptide drug discovery globally but also of a significant part of the Frankfurt small molecule medicinal chemistry portfolio. Michael is a co-inventor of more than 40 patents (issued or filed) and co-author of more than 20 research publications.

Michael Whittaker

WhittakerDr Michael Whittaker is a Senior Researcher at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) and Project Leader within the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science & Technology (CBNS). Previously he was senior researcher within the Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD) and Australian Centre of Nanomedicine (ACN). His current research interests focuses on the translation of biological-like control of biomolecule synthesis to wholly synthetic polymer systems and the development of novel stimuli-responsive “smart” soft matter for use in nanomedicines. Applications are focused on novel antibacterial materials which mimic antibacterial peptides, soft matter that hijack or disrupt cellular communication pathways to give improved therapeutic outcomes, “smart” nanomaterials for improved theranostics and sub-cellular targeting as well as the design and development of clinically relevant polymer-peptide conjugates.


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