Prof. Jan van Hest

Prof. Jan van Hest is professor of bio-organic chemistry. He obtained his PhD in 1996 from Eindhoven University of Technology, winning the DSM Award and SNS Award for best thesis. In 2000 he started as full professor the bio-organic chemistry group in Nijmegen. As of September 2016 he holds the chair of Bio-organic Chemistry at TU/e, and as of May 2018 he is also scientific director at ICMS.

Awards include the VICI grant (2010), ERC Advanced grant (2016) and membership of the ‘Jonge Akademie’, (The Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) in 2005. Van Hest was a member of the editorial board of Polymer Chemistry (since the start of the journal in 2009 to 2013), and is an associate editor of Bioconjugate Chemistry (as of 2014). He has supervised over 40 PhD students and published more than 280 papers. He is also cofounder of four start-up companies (Encapson, FutureChemistry, Noviosense and Noviotech).

Prof. Wim Hennink

Professor Wim Hennink obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1985 at the Twente University of Technology on a thesis a biomaterials research topic. From 1985 until 1992 he had different positions in the industry. In 1992 he was appointed as professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Utrecht. From 1996 on he is head of the Department of Pharmaceutics. At present he is the scientific director of the Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences. His main research interests are in the field of polymeric drug delivery systems. He published over 400 papers and book chapters and is the inventor of 20 patents.

Prof. De Smedt

Prof. De Smedt (1967) studied pharmacy at Ghent University (Belgium) and received his MS degree in pharmaceutical sciences in 1990. He graduated from Ghent University in 1995. In 1995 he joined the pharmaceutical development group ofJanssen Research Foundation. Since 1997 he has been a post-doctoral fellow of the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research at the Departments of Pharmacy of respectively Ghent University and the University of Utrecht (the Netherlands). In October 1999 he became Professor in Physical Pharmacy and Biopharmacy at Ghent University where he founded the Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines. In 2007 Stefaan C. De Smedt was guest professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), from 2012 till 2014 he was appointed guest professor at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). He served as dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Ghent University from 2010 till 2014. Since 2014 he is a member of the Board of Directors of Ghent University and is fully involved in the Ghent Research Group on Nanomedicines.
Dr. S.C. De Smedt received the Scott Blair Biorheology Award for his Ph.D work; For his research on drug delivery he received the Controlled Release Society Young Investigator Award 2006 and the APV Research Award 2010 for Outstanding Research Achievements in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Recent research interest of Professor De Smedt have included micro- and nanomaterials for (especially) drug delivery and diagnostics. His research is at the interface between drug delivery, biophysics, material sciences and advanced optical imaging. Dr. Stefaan De Smedt holds patents on carriers for drug delivery and diagnostics. He is a scientific founder of Memobead Technologies, a spin-off from Ghent University, whose technology is currently under further development by Biocartis/MyCartis in Lausanne, Mechelen and Ghent. Dr. De Smedt is a member of the Drug Delivery Advisory Panel of Santen Pharmaceutical ‘CO’ specialized in ophthalmic pharmaceuticals.

Prof. Molly Stevens

Molly Stevens is currently Professor of Biomedical Materials and Regenerative Medicine and the Research Director for Biomedical Material Sciences in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College. She joined Imperial in 2004 after a Postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Professor Robert Langer in the Chemical Engineering Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to this she graduated from Bath University with a First Class Honours degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and was then awarded a PhD in biophysical investigations of specific biomolecular interactions and single biomolecule mechanics from the Laboratory of Biophysics and Surface Analysis at the University of Nottingham (2000). In 2010 she was recognised by The Times as one of the top ten scientists under the age of 40 and also received the Polymer International-IUPAC award for creativity in polymer science, the Rosenhain medal and the Norman Heatley Prize for Interdisciplinary research from the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2009 she was awarded the Jean Leray Award from the European Society for Biomaterials, in 2007 the prestigious Conference Science Medal from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and in 2005 the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Engineering. She has also recently been recognised by the TR100, a compilation of the top innovators, under the age of 35, who are transforming technology – and the world with their work. Her previous awards include the Ronald Belcher Memorial Lecture Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry (2000) and both the Janssen Prize and the UpJohn Prize for academic excellence and research. In 2010 Molly was awarded the RSC Norman Heatley Prize and the IOM3 Rosenhain Medal and Prize, In 2012 Molly was awarded the Griffith Prize and medal from IOM3. In 2012 she presented the Royal Society Clifford Patterson Lecture and in 2013 she was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She received the Clemson Award for Basic Research in 2016.

Prof. Arto Urtti

Prof. Arto Urtti received his Ph.D. degree in 1986 (University of Kuopio, Finland). He served as Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology and professor of Biopharmaceutics at University of Kuopio. He has obtained international research experience as a post-doctoral fellow (Dept. of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Kansas) and visiting professor (Dept. of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California San Francisco and Department of Pharmaceutics, University of Wisconsin). He has led the Centre for Drug Research (previously DDTC – Drug Discovery and Development Technology Center) since 2005. Prof. Urtti’s research programme is presented in about 300 peer-reviewed articles and 22 patents and patent applications. His main research fields are drug delivery (controlled release, computational and cell-based methods for ADME research) and nanotechnology (biomaterial structures for drug and gene targeting and for 3-d cell cultures).
Prof. Arto Urtti has received scientific awards such as: American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Fellowship; Honorary Membership of the Finnish Pharmacists’ Association; Albert Wuokko Prize; Millennium Distinction Award; EUFEPS Distinguished Service Award.
Professor Urtti has evaluated grant applications for the scientific funding bodies of more than 10 countries and the European Union. He is leading research group of about 30 investigators at University of Helsinki and University of Eastern Finland. The group is funded by the EU, FDA, Academy of Finland, TEKES, industry and foundations.

Prof. Sébastien Lecommandoux

Prof. Sébastien Lecommandoux received his PhD degree in Chemistry and Physics in 1996 at the University of Bordeaux. After a postdoc at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA) in the group of Pr S. I. Stupp where he learned the art of self-assembly and supramolecular chemistry, he joined the LCPO as Associate Professor in 1998. He is now Full Professor at the ENSCBP-Bordeaux INP and is leading the group “Polymer Self-Assembly and Life Sciences” at the LCPO. He is also director of the LCPO since 2016. He is recipient of the CNRS bronze medal award (2004) and is honorary junior member of the Institut Universitaire de France (promotion IUF 2007). He is Associate Editor for Biomacromolecules (ACS since 2012) and in the Editorial Advisory Board of several international journals, including Bioconjugate Chemistry (ACS), Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Science (RSC).
He has published over 160 research articles and reviews and 6 book chapters. He supervised over 25 PhDs and presented more than 180 oral presentations, including 150 on invitation.
His current research interests include polypeptide and polysaccharide based block copolymers self-assembly, biomimetic approaches toward design of synthetic viruses and cells as well as the design of polymersomes for drug-delivery and theranostic in cancer therapy.

Dr. Silvie Meeuwissen

Silvie Meeuwissen has a PhD in bio-organic chemistry, received from Radboud University in Nijmegen under the supervision of Prof.dr. Jan van Hest in 2013. Her research involved polymer chemistry, and the creation, analysis and application of nanocarriers. She worked on a postdoctoral project in the synthetic organic chemistry group of Prof.dr. Floris Rutjes (RU) before she started as a researcher at ChemConnection in 2014. Currently, she is project manager of several nanomedicine projects, focussing on process development and GMP manufacture of nanoparticles for (pre-)clinical trials.

Dr. Mastrobattista

Dr. Mastrobattista obtained his Ph.D. in Advanced Drug Delivery from Utrecht University in 2001 and spent over two years as a Marie Curie postdoctoral fellow in the MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge (UK) to work on cell-free directed evolution of enzymes. He currently leads a research group that uses molecular and synthetic biology approaches to construct biomimetic delivery systems. Dr. Mastrobattista has published over 90 articles in scientific journals, contributed to several book chapters in pharmaceutical biotechnology and holds several patents to his name. He has supervised more than 15 PhD students. In 2013 he obtained the prestigeous Galenus Research Award for the best young scientist in the pharmaceutical sciences in The Netherlands. In addition, he is the scientific coordinator of IMI COMPACT, a public-private partnership in which 132 scientists from industy, SMEs and academia work together to find solutions for the delivery problem of biopharmaceuticals (

Dr. Pierce

Ben Pierce is Research Coordinator for Prof Molly Stevens’ Group at Imperial College since 2014. Prior to this, he conducted his postdoctoral research within the Helmholtz Association in Berlin, Germany researching biomaterials. He received his PhD in 2008 in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill based on his research on polymer-based materials. He has co-authored more than 25 papers, whilst his manuscript on the design of gelatin-based scaffolds, published in Advanced Materials, was highlighted in Science in 2015.

Dr Elisabeth Garanger

Dr Elisabeth Garanger graduated in 2001 as a Chemical Engineer from ENSC Clermont-Ferrand and obtained simultaneously a Master’s degree in Biological Organic Chemistry. In 2005, she received her PhD in Chemistry and Biology from the University of Grenoble achieving a comprehensive study of peptide-based nanocarriers targeting tumors and their associated neo-angiogenesis under the supervision of Pr P. Dumy and Pr M-C. Favrot. She then joined the Center for Molecular Imaging Research (Mass. Gen. Hospital, Harvard Med. School, Boston, USA) as a post-doctoral fellow in the group of Pr L. Josephson and designed contrast agents for multimodal molecular imaging. In 2009, she joined the group of Pr S. Lecommandoux at LCPO to work on self-assembled nanoparticles from amphiphilic block copolymers for biomedical applications, namely cancer theranostics, and was appointed as a junior researcher at CNRS in 2012.
Until December 2015, Dr Elisabeth Garanger has worked at the European Institute of Chemistry and Biology (IECB, Pessac, France) where she was appointed as a junior group leader in 2010. Her current research is dedicated to the design of peptide-polymer hybrid materials and recombinant polypeptides towards bioactive or biomimetic self-assemblies.

Dr Olivier Sandre

Dr Olivier Sandre is tenured CNRS researcher since 2001. After his PhD in 2000 on the dynamics of pores in giant lipid vesicles supervised by Pr F. Brochard in Curie Institute and a 1-year post-doc in California (UCSB) with Pr D. J. Pine and Pr D. K. Fygenson about physical measurements on biological tubules, he came back to UPMC in Paris in 2001 in Pr V. Cabuil’s team. He joined the LCPO in 2010 after collaborating with Pr S. Lecommandoux since 2003. He works on polymeric systems doped with magnetic nanoparticles, especially magnetic polymersomes for theranostics (MRI combined with anti-cancer therapy).
Dr Olivier Sandre was adjunct professor of Waterloo University in Canada from 2012 to 2015 and received the 2012 Young Researcher award of the Physical Chemistry division of French Chemical Society (SCF) and French Physics Society (SFP) for his researches on self-assembled magnetic polymer composite materials. He was promoted senior CNRS researcher in 2014. From 2014 to 2016, he served as chair of the Sub-Committee 9 on Soft Condensed Matter at the Institut Laue-Langevin (international source for neutron scattering). Since 2017, he is chairing the Condensed Matter division of the French Physics Society.