ESSDFD-2 Lecturers

Alex Avdeef, In-ADME Research,USA
Alex is an internationally-known authority on solution chemistry, with outstanding academic credentials and an extensive list of publications (110 technical publications in primary scientific journals & chapters in books, 6 patents and over 300 invited lectures). For over 40 years, he has been teaching, researching, & developing methods, instruments, & analysis software for measurement of ionization constants (pKa), solubility (practically-insoluble molecules), dissolution (small-volume, mechanistic, pH-dependent), & permeability (pH-dependent PAMPA, cell-culture, & animal models). He founded (2011) in-ADME Research (USA) and co-founded pION INC (USA) in 1996 & Sirius Analytical (UK) in 1989. He is the author of Absorption and Drug Development, Second Edition, Wiley, Hoboken, 2012. His accomplishments in the development of instrumentation include several well-known instruments currently manufactured by leading companies in the instrument market (e.g., ORION960 Autochemistry System - Launched in 1984 and still being sold by ThermoFisher today). In the rich career he took several position in academic and industrial settings (pION INC (USA), SIRIUS ANALYTICAL (UK), ORION RESEARCH (USA), SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY (USA), CAL BERKELEY "go Bears" (USA), & CALTECH (PASADENA, USA)).

Biserka Cetina-Čižmek, PLIVA, Croatia
Biserka has been working in GR&D PLIVA pharmaceutical company in Croatia, member of Teva group for last twelve years. Her current position is Senior Director and head of Preformulation Department. She is pharmacist by education. She finished Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciencie and worked as Senior Lecturer in field Pharmaceutical Analysis and since 2007 she has become Professor in the field of Pharmaceutical sciences at Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry University of Zagreb. Her scientific background is the field of preformulation studies in drug development of solid dosage forms, semisolid and liquid, development of in vitro methodology to predict in vivo drug behavior, IVIV correlation, characterization of drug molecules, and BCS classification. She is author and co-author of 30 scientific papers, 47 posters and 12 oral presentations, 3 patent applications and mentor of 22 graduated and 3 postgraduate students.



Vesna Gabelica Marković, Fidelta Ltd, Croatia
Vesna started her academic career studying Chemistry at Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Zagreb, Croatia, where she completed her PhD degree, in the field of physico organic chemistry (1993). Her postdoctoral researches were at University of Toronto, Canada (1993-1995) and University of Padua, Italy (1995-1996). In 1996. she moved to pharmaceutical industry. She has been working in the pharmaceutical and biotech companies (PLIVA, GlaxoSmithKline and Galapagos) for the last 19 years holding several various management positions. She was leading Analytical Chemistry, Applied Research, Integrated Research Unit and Chemistry Department During that time, she was responsible for support of drug discovery and development process by analytical and physicochemical methods and techniques. Currently she is director of Chemical Technologies in Fidelta Ltd. Vesna is author and co-author of 20 scientific publications and several oral presentations and one book chapter. Two years ago, she became member of the EFMC Council, representing Medicinal Chemistry section of Croatian Chemical Society.

Mario Grassi, University of Trieste, Italy
Mario got his Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering at the Padova University (Italy) in 1996. He got a one-year grant (1996) from the Physical Pharmacy Laboratory of Vectorpharma Trieste for the study of diffusion processes and drug activation. He got a Post Doct. grant (1996 - 1998) from the Department of Chemical Engineering (DICAMP) (Trieste University) in order to study from an experimental and theoretical view point drug diffusion in polymeric matrices and release processes. He got a four years grant at the Department of Chemical, Environmental and Raw Materials Engineering in order to experimentally and theoretically studying drug release process from different kinds of release systems (polymeric matrices and mini-matrices). 2002-2004 he was an employee of EURAND (Pharmaceutical Industry dealing with the improvement of poorly bioavailable drugs) as co-ordinator of the Trieste site research activities. In 2005 he became associate professor at the Faculty of Engineering of the Trieste University teaching “Macromolecular Materials Engineering", “Diffusive processes in complex media”, “Principles of Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials” and “Process simulation”. He is author or co-author of more than 90 papers in international journals and more than 150 congress communications. He is co-authors of a book entitled: “Understanding drug release and absorption mechanisms: a physical and mathematical approach” CRC Press, BocaRaton, 2007. At present his research field is about a) modeling of drug release from delivery systems and drug absorption by living tissues b) characterization of delivery systems (polymer based) and drug for what concerns nano-crystals peculiar properties.
Krisztina Herédi-Szabó, Solvo Biotechnology, Hungary
Krisztina Herédi-Szabó, PharmD, PhD, has a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Szeged, Hungary. She has earned her PhD in the field of peptide chemistry and cell biology at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA in 2005. She has joined Solvo Biotechnology in 2006 and started working in the field of transporter proteins. She was involved in the development of several transporter assays that are now available as products and services. She is an author of 20 scientific publications and presented her group’s work at several international conferences. Her current position is Head of Service laboratory at Solvo Biotechnology, Szeged, Hungary. 

Rolf Hilfiker
, Solvias AG, Switzerland
Rolf Hilfiker is Head of the Department Solid-State Development at Solvias AG. Solvias AG is a scientific services company focused on leveraging expertise in various scientific disciplines to accelerate the drug discovery and development process. The department of some 20 people does contract research and development in the solid-state area, i.e. polymorphism studies, salt and co-crystal screening and selection, method development, crystallization optimization, etc. Rolf obtained his Ph.D in physical chemistry at the University of Basel, Switzerland. From 1987-89 he was Post Doc at SUNY, New York and from 1989-1992 Senior Research Fellow at the University of Basel. He has more than twenty years of experience in an industrial R&D environment at Ciba-Geigy, Novartis, and Solvias. Under his guidance, Solvias became one of the leading solid-state service providers in the world. He is author of more than 60 scientific publications as well as numerous patents in various areas of physical chemistry and editor of “Polymorphism – In the Pharmaceutical Industry”, Wiley-VCH, 2006.

Christos Reppas, University of Athens, Greece
Christos is Professor of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, National and Kapodistrian (N&K) University of Athens, Greece. He received his B. Pharm degree in Pharmacy from the N&K University in Athens in 1982 and his Ph.D in 1986 from the same University. From 1988 to 1989 he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Pharmaceutics at the University of Michigan (USA) and then he joined the N&K University of Athens in 1989 as a Lecturer. He has held research positions with the University of London (UK), the University of Michigan (USA), Glaxo R&D (UK) and the University of Frankfurt (Germany). Research interests focus on the effects of gastrointestinal physiology on intralumenal performance of xenobiotics and the development of in vitro tests that are predictive of the intralumenal dosage form and drug performance. He is coauthor of more than 95 peer reviewed papers in international journals, two books and one patent.


Abu Serajuddin, St. John's University, New York, USA
Abu Serajuddin, Ph.D., is Professor of Industrial Pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at St. John’s University, Queens, New York, USA. He joined academia in 2008 after working for three decades in the pharmaceutical industry, where he formulated and developed numerous products, many with extremely difficult and challenging development issues. Several products that he developed or co-developed attained blockbuster status in the market. In his latest positions in the industry, Dr. Serajuddin served as the Director/Executive Director and the US Head of Drug Product Development (1999-2003) and Executive Director of Science, Technology and Outsourcing (2003-2008) for Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. He authored over 90 research papers and book chapters and made over 100 invited presentations in scientific conferences. He is also a co-inventor in 12 patents. In recognition of his scientific and professional contributions, Dr. Serajuddin attained Fellow status in American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), American Pharmacists Association (APhA), International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), and American Association of Indian Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAiPS). AAPS also honored him twice with its Research Achievement Award, first for Formulation Design and Development (FDD) in 2010 and the second for Manufacturing Sciences and Engineering (MSE) in 2014. In 2005, he received the Novartis Leading Scientist Award for extraordinary scientific achievement in research and development. He serves in the Editorial Advisory Boards of several journals, including Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. At St. John’s, Dr. Serajuddin established the Industrial Pharmacy Innovation Laboratory, where the primary focuses of his research are (1) the development of novel drug delivery systems, especially for poorly water-soluble drugs, and (2) the innovation in processing technologies for solid dosage forms.

Klara Valko, GSK, UK
Klara obtained her PhD at School of Pharmacy, Semmerlweis University in Budapest. Since 1995 Klara has been working with the Physico-chemical Characterization Group at GlaxoWellcome and now GSK. She developed several bio-mimetic binding measurements of discovery compounds, such as Human Serum Albumin Binding, Immobilized Artificial Membrane binding and Chromatographic Hydrophobicity Index, etc. She developed in silico models for these and several other ADME properties using QSAR-WB general model building tool. Klara supported over 20 neuroscience and respiratory programs in the lead optimization by building general and local models between structure and properties. Besides numerous papers in leading scientific journals, Klara has recently published a book: Physicochemical and Biomimetic Properties in Drug Discovery – Chromatographic Techniques for lead optimization, Wiley 2014. Klara is also a visiting professor at University College London, where she has been teaching the Physchem/ADME module for the Drug Discovery MSc students for 10 years.