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Dr Tatjana Ž. Verbić, associate professor, is one of four winners of Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program 2021-2022. This is a 3-9 months lasting non-degree post-doctoral award program for junior and senior researchers, university lecturers, and experts from academic institutions in Serbia. This program gives scholars the opportunity to travel to the United States to engage in advanced academic research and/or lecture at the university level.

Prof. Verbić won the scholarship for the research proposal dealing with physico-chemical characterization of compounds (mainly solubility studies) in drug discovery and development. Majority of new compounds that emerged as potential drug candidates in pharmaceutical development during past 2-3 decades are practically insoluble solids consisting of ionizable molecules. Detailed study of compound solubility and the dissolution rate is at the core of the development of bioavailable dosage forms and clinically effective pharmaceutical products that would dissolve in gastric and intestinal fluids after oral administration or not precipitate in blood after intravenous dosing.

Research project Investigation of pH vs. Solubility and Development of Novel Formulation Strategies by Acid-Base Interaction for Practically Water-insoluble Drugs, Such as the Antibiotic Clofazimine will be realized in collaboration with Prof. Abu T. M. Serajuddin and Dr Alex Avdeef at St. John’s University, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Queens, New York, USA, during 6 months (September 2021 - February 2022). Prof. Serajuddin (h-index 37, without self citations) has worked for over 30 years in scientific and managerial positions in major pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Sanofi-Aventis. Dr Alex Avdeef is a world leading scientist in the field (h-index 51, without self citations), and a co-founder of two scientific companies: pION INC (USA) and Sirius Analytical Instruments Ltd. (UK). With both scientists, Dr Verbić collaborates in last 10 years.

Beside the research benefits Dr Tatjana Verbić will personally gain through the Fulbright program, visit to St. John’s University will have a great impact in implementing the course Analytical Methods in Drug Design and Development within newly accredited Master academic studies at UB-FC.

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