Dr. Gareth Williams
University College London
Gareth received a MChem (Hons) degree from the University of Oxford in 2002. He remained in Oxford for a DPhil (PhD) in materials chemistry working with Prof Dermot O’Hare, which was completed in 2005. Gareth then spent three years working in science programme management for the UK government, before returning to Oxford to take up a post-doctoral position in 2009. In September 2010 he joined London Metropolitan University as a Senior Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Science, and in November 2012 was appointed to the UCL School of Pharmacy as a Lecturer in Pharmaceutics. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in 2016 and recognized as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2017.
Gareth leads a group of around 20 researchers working on a range of topics in drug delivery and vaccine formulation. His group is particularly interested in the use of inorganic and polymer based nanomaterials (particles and fibres) for improving the efficacy of vaccines, targeted drug delivery, and theranostics. Gareth is also the programme leader for the University College London MSc in Pharmaceutical Formulation & Entrepreneurship, and a co-director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Therapeutics and Nanomedicines.
Prof. Nilanga Liyanage
Dr. Nilanga Liyanage, an experimental nuclear and particle physicist, is a professor of physics and the Associate Department Chair at the University of Virginia. As an undergraduate student in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Liyanage studied under several renowned experimental physicists including Prof. Jerome Friedman who received the Nobel prize for the experimental discovery of quarks and Prof. Rainer Weiss who received the Nobel prize last year for the discovery of gravitational waves. After completing his BS degree in 1993, Liyanage continued into the physics graduate program at MIT in the research area of experimental nuclear and particle physics. In 1999 he received his PhD in physics from MIT with a thesis related to the momentum and energy distributions of protons inside the oxygen-16 nucleus, under the guidance of Prof. William Bertozzi. After two years as a post-doctoral researcher at Thomas Jefferson Accelerator Laboratory (Jefferson Lab), the premier medium energy accelerator facility in the world, Dr. Liyanage joined the University of Virginia physics department in 2001 as an assistant professor. Dr. Liyanage has also served as the chair of the Jefferson Lab experimental Hall A collaboration and as a director of the Jefferson lab user’s group.
He received the United States Department of Energy Outstanding Junior Investigator Award in 2003, and the University of Virginia All University Teaching award in 2006. He was promoted to the rank of Associate professor in 2007 and to the rank of professor in 2013. He has been the associate chairman of the physics department since 2015. Dr. Liyanage’s research interests include the study of the internal structure of protons/neutrons in terms of quark degrees of freedom, radiation tracking detector development and applications of nuclear physics in other areas of science. He is a spokesperson of several major experiments at Jefferson Lab and is the leader of the Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM) tracker development and fabrication project at Jefferson lab.