Group Leader

Dr Driton Vllasaliu gained his MPharm and PhD in Drug Delivery at the University of Nottingham. Following his PhD, he spent two years as a postdoctoral research associate at Nottingham, working on the development of improved (more predictive) in vitro intestinal models. He was then appointed to a lectureship at the University of Lincoln in 2012, where he contributed towards the establishment of a School of Pharmacy. Driton joined the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London, in April 2017. He teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students Biopharmaceutics, Membrane transport and Advanced drug delivery. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences, registrant of the General Pharmaceutical Council and member of the EPSRC peer-review college. 


Dr Julia Mantaj is a Postdoctoral Research Associate. She graduated as a pharmacist from the Technical University of Braunschweig (Germany), and then completed her PhD at King’s College London with studies on the interaction of DNA minor-groove binding agents with DNA and their effects on gene expression. Following her PhD, she spent two years in the industry as postdoctoral researcher working on development of next generation DNA-interactive payload molecules for the use in antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). Julia started her research associate position at King’s College London in April 2018, and her research activities are focused the establishment of a design blueprint design for non-invasive drug delivery. 

Current members

Elliott Higgin is a PhD student in the group. He graduated from Durham University with a joint honours MSci in Biology and Chemistry within Natural Sciences, where his master’s project focused on protein purification and characterisation of protein-DNA interactions. He is currently working on designing new absorption-enabling peptides for oral delivery of biologics, in collaboration with Proxima concepts, as part of the BBSRC funded LIDo (London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme) doctoral training partnership. Elliott started his PhD at King’s College London in October 2018.

Yunyue Zhang is a PhD student in the group. She graduated from China Agricultural University with an MSc in Food Science. Her master’s project focused on the structure-affinity relationship between protein and polyphenols, and investigated the effect of protein on the bioactivity of polyphenols. She is currently working on oral delivery of nanobiologicals for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) therapy, which is funded by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) – King’s College London PhD scholarship program. Yunyue started her PhD at King’s College London in October 2019.