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Nanomedicines Focus Group.

Nanomedicines are already being utilised and the fundamental science base is continually developing, as such market predictions indicate that nanotechnologies will make an increasing contribution to new medicines over the next 10 years and beyond. In recognition of these developments the APS has established this Focus Group to provide a forum for discussion and to help raise the profile of nanomedicines within the UK, engaging with personnel working at all stages across the supply chain.

The Focus Group will facilitate and promote the understanding of nanomedicines from a pure science base through the evolving regulatory environment and finally manufacture. Drawing on expertise from industry, academia, regulatory and clinical practice, the group encourages the exchange of information and collaboration across all parties. Through establishing an active and open community in this fast moving field, this Focus Group will explore the opportunities that nanotechnology offers, investigate any barriers to their adoption and then work together to propose solutions.

Francesca Greco is an Associate Professor in Drug Delivery at the Reading School of Pharmacy and sits on the board of directors of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She graduated from Pisa University with an MPharm (110/110 cum laude), which included a one-year research project at Pharmacia (now part of Pfizer) in Nerviano, Milan (Italy). She then undertook a PhD in drug delivery under the supervision of Prof. Ruth Duncan and Prof. Rob Nicholson, in Pharmacy, Cardiff University (awarded in March 2006). Immediately after completion of her PhD, Francesca was appointed to a lectureship at the Reading School of Pharmacy (July 2006) and she was then promoted to Associate Professor in May 2012. Her research in polymer-drug conjugates led to several publications in peer-reviewed journals and her work has been presented at national and international conferences. Francesca was awarded prizes for her research, including an invitation to the “Roche Symposium for leading scientists of the next decade” (Basel, Switzerland, 2007). Francesca acts as referee for scientific journals including the Journal of Controlled Release, Molecular Pharmaceutics and the Journal of Biomaterials.

Kathryn is currently an Associate Principal Scientist in Drug Targeting at AstraZeneca and her core focus is on the application of novel drug delivery technologies to enhance the therapeutic index of oncology drugs. Prior to this, Kathryn was an Associate Principal Scientist in Poorly Soluble Drug Delivery, also at AstraZeneca. Whilst in this role, Kathryn not only sought to apply novel drug delivery technologies to enhance oral bioavailability of active agents, but also developed a focus on the automation of formulation-based screening assays and project managed the design, build and installation of a bespoke robotic system. Roles prior to 2010 include: Pharmaceutical Development Project Lead for various oral and parenteral drug projects in pre-clinical development and Senior Scientist within the Drug Delivery team at AstraZeneca, with a focus on liposomal delivery and lipidics for enhancing oral bioavailability.

Philipp obtained his BPharm and MSc from King’s College London and PhD in drug delivery (intracellular trafficking of nanomedicines) from Cardiff University before undertaking postdoctoral research at the Technical University Dresden (Germany) and Tufts University (Boston, USA). Philipp subsequently moved to the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. His research interest lies at the interface of cell biology, drug delivery and material science with a specific focus on engineered cellular microenvironments. The overall mission of the Seib lab is to explore the potential of biopolymers for drug and cell delivery.

Nikolaos is currently a Senior Scientist at the National Formulation Centre; Centre for Process Innovation. He is leading a collaborative project for the development of a microfluidic-based platform for the scale-up, process development and manufacture of nanomedicines. Prior to that he worked for a technology development consultancy focusing on Point-of-Care Diagnostics.

Yiwen is a Higher Research Scientist at National Physical Laboratory (NPL). She obtained her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Auckland (New Zealand). After her PhD she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at University of New South Wales and Curtin University in Australia. In 2016, she moved to the UK and worked at King’s College London, University of Surrey and University College London before joining the NPL in 2018. Yiwen is passionate about, and has been active in, the design, synthesis and characterisation of polymeric materials, nanoparticles and drug delivery systems. Yiwen is a committee member of British Standards Institution (BSI) and a UK expert for ISO/TC229 (nanotechnologies).

Driton is a pharmacist and gained his MPharm and PhD from the University of Nottingham. His PhD and postdoctoral research focused on mucosal drug delivery and intestinal models. In his previous lectureship at Lincoln he contributed towards the establishment of a Pharmacy School. Driton is currently a lecturer within the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London. His research centres around overcoming the mucosal barrier to improve drug delivery (particularly biologics), enabling patient-acceptable drug administration.

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