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Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji, B.Pharm. (Hon.), Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences

Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji earned his Ph.D. degree in pharmaceutics (2006) from the University of Manitoba, Canada and his pharmacy degree from King Saud University, Riyadh Saudi Arabia, in 1995. Qalaji joined pharmaceutical industry, QLT Inc. - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 2007 for his postdoctoral preclinical research work and was awarded Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowship. In addition, he worked as a formulation scientist in 2008 for ENWAVE Corp. - University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Later he joined the Nova Southeastern University College of Pharmacy (NSU COP) in August 2008 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Qalaji is the first inventor for 13 US and international patents applications assigned to NSU. He has more than 35 peer-reviewed publications in high impact international journals and over than 37 conference and podium presentations, receiving several international, national, provincial, and institutional awards and recognitions. He was awarded Strategic Training in Allergy Research (ST*AR) Award (International Award) from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology's (AAAAI), Ebla Private University Recognition (International Award), Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowship (National Award), The Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy (CFP) Award (National Award), Manitoba Health Research Council (MHRC) Award (Provincial Award), Honourable Mention by Manitoba Health Research Council (MHRC) (Provincial Award), Manitoba Institute of Child Health (MICH) Award (Provincial Award), Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association (MPhA) Award (Provincial Award), and University of Manitoba Fellowship (Institutional Award), and Outstanding Teacher Finalist (Institutional Award).

Qalaji's research experience is in the field of Formulation and Drug delivery and focused on nanoparticles fabrication and characterization, formulation and development of orally disintegrating tablets (ODT), and drug release, dissolution, absorption, and bioavailability with specific interest in non-invasive and patient-friendly drug delivery approaches.

A major research achievement for Qalaji is the development of the novel orally disintegrating tablets formulation and the successful delivery of epinephrine for the first time via the sublingual route for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis. Qalaji presented these results through a podium presentation during the Anaphylaxis Session at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology's (AAAAI) annual conference, March 3-7, 2006, Miami Beach, Florida. These results were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, ranked first world-wide in the field of allergy.  Recently, Dr. Qalaji was able to fabricate stable epinephrine nanoparticles using a reproducible and novel technique that was patented by the Technology Transfer Office at NSU.

As a teacher and mentor, Qalaji dedicates significant time training and mentoring Pharm. D. and Ph.D. students in his research lab, and are strongly encouraged to get involved in data analysis and integration and get recognized for their work through conference presentations and co-authorship.

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