Snezana Radivojev is currently working on her PhD thesis in a cooperation between RCPE GmbH (Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering) and the Medical University of Graz in Austria, under the supervision of Dr. Eleonore Fröhlich. Her PhD research is focused on the establishment of in-vitro-in-vivo correlations through the development of new and/or improved in-vitro and in-silico methodologies, following the rational understanding of orally inhaled product’s biopharmaceutics. Additionally, she investigates the development and characterization of new orally inhaled products. She acquired her BSc diploma in Chemistry, from University of Novi Sad in Serbia. In 2017, she earned Dipl. -Ing degree in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering from Graz University of Technology in 2017 with the master thesis ‘‘Characterization of potential new dry powder inhaler formulations’’ under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Johannes Khinast (Institute of Process and Particle Engineering) and Dr. Sarah Zellnitz. Following graduation, she started her carrier in RCPE as a scientist and join their Area II-Advanced Products and Delivery, supervised by Dr. Amrit Paudel and Dr. Simone Pival-Marko. Aside from her research, she is interested in actively promoting networking opportunities between PhD students coming from different backgrounds of knowledge and universities in the field of inhalation. During DDL2019, together with Dr. Magda Swedrowska (King’s College London) and Marie Hellfritzsch (Kiel University), she founded the New Researcher Network (NRN) as a mean to facilitate cooperation between young researchers and support them throughout their scientific journey
The proposed research project is a part of the work essential to finalizing my doctoral thesis. The topic of my thesis is focusing on the optimization and improvement of the current state of the art in-vitro systems which would result in a trustworthy set of data. These are subsequently used to improve the in-vivo predictions by application of in-silico models. My personal development in the inhalation field started early in my master thesis. During this work, I gained an insight into different manufacturing processes, DPI performance and challenges that arise when formulating drugs intended for inhalation use. Thus, a further step was to tackle the open research questions of inhalation biopharmaceutics. This field is still emerging and represents a wide space for gathering the lacking scientific knowledge. My thesis is done at Medical University in Graz, coupled with Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering and two industrial partners. The work within this framework displayed to me the relevance of investigating the questions interesting to academia but, in the same time, possessing the potential industrial application. The first part of my work was focused on the investigation of how mishandling of DPIs could potentially impact the predicted pharmacokinetic parameters. This study showed how in-vitro studies can be successfully coupled with the physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling as a risk-assessment approach for the stability of DPI formulations (Radivojev et al., Jou. of Drug Deliv. and Sci. 2019). This topic was further investigated with the support of professor Forbes and SimInhale COST Action. The opportunity to work with the groups that have different specialties so early in my career helped me to acquire unique perspectives and enriched my laboratory and research skills. The second phase of my PhD was focused on the investigation of different SLFs and their application (Radivojev et al. Int. Jou. of Pharm. 2019) as well as how different components present can impact the solubility of inhaled drugs and their predicted in-vivo performance (Radivojev et al, Int. Jou. of Pharm. 2021, submitted). It tackles the challenges widely discussed in the inhalation field such as the relevance of using certain SLFs (e.g. simple systems such as phosphate buffer or addition of surfactants) or apparatus design. The proposed research project is a final step in my work that can help in elucidating whether the use of more complex in-vitro apparatus is necessary or simple approaches can be considered. Furthermore, it will contribute towards an overall better understanding of inhaled biopharmaceutics.
Early on in my career as a researcher in inhalation, I was fortunate to realize how important collaborations and open discussions are in the world of science. I became passionate in helping early carrier researchers, such as myself, in facilitating exchanges of research ideas and challenges as well as the work in joint projects. With the help of Drug Delivery to the Lungs conference committee and my colleagues, New Researcher Network has been founded. We aim that this group provides continuous support of early carrier researches, for both professional and personal development, and to enrich contributions to the aerosol research. The DDL grant would be significant support in my career development as well as the possibility to advance collaboration between three groups i.e. King’s College London, Medical University and Research Center Pharmaceutical Engineering in Graz. Professor Ben Forbes has a vast knowledge in the inhalation field and is a recognized expert in the field of inhalation biopharmaceutics. His supervision and experience gained in his research group will be a great opportunity to widen the horizons of my knowledge. The proposed cooperation falls within the umbrella of the carrier pathway I would like to follow and promotes international cooperation as well as interdisciplinary research by combining different methodologies.