Our Confirmed Speakers

Ornella Corazza

University of Hertfordshire and University of Trento

Professor Ornella Corazza, Ph.D holds the Chair of Addiction Science at the University of Hertfordshire and she is also the Director of a new Addiction Science Lab at the University of Trento, where she leads multidisciplinary research teams looking at social, clinical and psychopathological implications of drugs and other behavioural addictions. Results of her work have been presented in over 300 peer-reviewed publications, books, policy reports, invited lectures and media appearances. Much of her time is spent lecturing at conferences and teaching medical postgraduate students, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health and other professionals in the fields of behavioural addictions, internet addiction disorder, the neurobiology of addiction, body image-disorders, mindfulness practices. Her academic achievements have been recognized with various prizes and award nominations, including the prestigious 2013 European Health Award. Professor Corazza is the President of the International Society for the Study of Emerging Drugs (ISSED) and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal for Emerging Trends in Drugs, Addictions, and Health (Elsevier). She is a co-opted member of the Internet-Facilitated Drug Markets Working Group for the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) and serves as an expert advisor for national policy makers as well as international organisations (United Nation Office on Drugs and Crime; European Monitoring Agency for Drug and Drug Addictions, World Anti-Doping Agency).

Olivier Rabin

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

Dr Rabin, who was WADA’s Science Director since September 2002, has established an international reputation as an expert in pharmaceutical research and development. Prior to joining WADA, he worked for more than seven years for IPSEN Pharma, in the United Kingdom and in France, in the fields of research and business development. In this capacity, Dr Rabin was responsible for the international development of new medicines and led scientific and medical teams for in-depth assessment of projects.

Prior to his work at IPSEN, Dr Rabin was a principal investigator in research in pharmacology and toxicology for government organizations, including four years spent at the National Institutes of Health in the United States, where he was responsible for a cerebral ischemia program and the development of pharmacological strategies for brain neuroprotection. He also worked at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale in Paris, France.

Dr Rabin has a PhD degree in fundamental and applied toxicology and a degree in biomedical engineering. He speaks fluent French and English and is the author of numerous scientific publications.

Irene Mazzoni

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

Dr Irene Mazzoni is the Associate Director, Prohibited List, at the Department of Science & Medicine at WADA. She joined WADA in 2005, initially as Manager of the Prohibited List and Research, bringing together her passion for sports and science.

Irene holds Licentiate degrees in Chemistry and in Biological Analysis from the University of Buenos Aires in her native Argentina and obtained a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from University of Montreal in her adopted country, Canada. Before joining WADA, Irene worked in clinical endocrinology for several years, and following her Ph.D., her research in academia and biotechnology centered mainly in factors affecting brain cells and in diagnostic assay development.

Humaid Alameemi


Gianluca Esposito

University of Trento, Italy

Gianluca Esposito is a Professor at the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science and Chair of the Ph.D. Program in Cognitive Science at the University of Trento (Italy). He is a Developmental Clinical Psychologist qualified to advance the ongoing investigations on child socio-cognitive development contributing strengths in human electrophysiology and neuroimaging, complex data modeling, and comparative physiological assessment with the aim of studying Social Interaction.

Claude Guillou

Directorate General Joint Research Centre, European Commission

Claude Guillou, hailing from the Directorate General Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, is a respected professional with a broad range of expertise. His contributions extend across various domains, reflecting his valuable presence in academia, industry, and research.

Ana Gallegos

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)

Dr Ana Gallegos is with EMCDDA since 2009 and currently holds the position of Head of Sector, Action on new drugs. She is responsible for the coordination of the European Union Early Warning System on new psychoactive substances. A Spanish national, she holds a PhD in theoretical and computational chemistry.

Talal Aburjai

University of Jordan

Talal Aburjai currently works at the Pharmacy, University of Jordan, Middle East University, Amman-Jordan. Talal does research in Pharmacy. Their current project is ‘Synthesis of New Nitrofluoroquinolone Derivatives with Novel Anti-Microbial Properties against Metronidazole Resistant H. pylori’.

Lambros Lazuras

University of Lincoln, United Kingdom

Professor Lambros Lazuras is a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a Professor of Sport & Exercise Science, at the School of Sport & Exercise Science, University of Lincoln, UK. He has a track record of funded research and publications in the psychological aspects of substance use, with a main focus on the use of doping substances in elite, amateur, and recreational sport settings. He is the co-author of the book “The Psychology of Doping Use in Sport” and his research has been funded by the European Commission, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and the International Olympics Committee. He is the principal investigator of project “Mindful Muscles: Developing Positive Interventions against Performance Enhancement Drug Use in Recreational & Grassroots Sport”, which is funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Sport Programme, 2021-2023. Professor Lazuras also serves as scientific advisor and consultant to National Anti-Doping Organisations for the prevention of doping use and the development of relevant educational interventions.

Giuseppe Bersani

Sapienza University of Rome

Professor Bersani is a psychiatrist, specializing in clinical criminology and forensic psychiatry. He is a former professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Sciences and Medical Surgical Biotechnology on the Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine at Sapienza University in Rome. He also taught psychiatry at the A and E degree courses of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine, as well as the teaching professor for neuropsychopharmacology at the 1st school of specialization in psychiatry-Sapienza University of Rome. From 2006 to 2021, he was Head of the University of “Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology” at the A. Fioriniof Terracina (Latina), Pontine Pole of the Sapienza University of Rome. He is the author of over 220 scientific articles, as well as numerous works featured at scientific conferences, and in book chapters both Italian and foreign. He carries out continuous activities, both personal and as coordinator of groups. Areas of interest include risk factors for mental disorders, clinical psychopharmacology, mental disorders associated with the use of substances, psychiatric genetics, structural and functional brain changes in mental disorders, neuroimaging in mental disorders, psychiatric chronobiology, neurobiology applied to psychiatry, the study of neurocognitive functions in mental disorders, dependencies on new substances of abuse, behavioral addictions, and clinical and psychiatric bioethics. He has been an organizer, president or scientific secretary of over 50 congresses, symposia or scientific and international scientific courses, guest Professor at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (China), and Visiting Professor at the University of Herforshire (UK).

Owen Bowden-Jones

London Club Drug Clinic

Owen Bowden-Jones is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and researcher with more than 20 years’ experience of helping people with mental health and substance use problems.

In 2016, he published the award winning  “The Drug Conversation”, a book written for parents, sharing his experience of helping adolescents with drug problems on their journey to recovery.

As a psychiatrist, Prof Bowden-Jones believes passionately in engaging people in conversations about drug use and hopes that this book will form part of that conversation.

Mariya Prilutskaya

Semey Medical University

Mariya is a research assistant at Semey Medical University (Pavlodar, Kazakhstan), and graduated from Astana Medical University in 2008. She has worked as a psychiatrist for ten years. The sphere of her professional interests is drug addiction. Since 2012, she has focused on the problems of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) in clinical practice. With the research team of the University of Hertfordshire, Mariya Prilutskaya studies the epidemiological and clinical aspects of drug addictions caused by synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones in Kazakhstan. Mariya was a speaker of IV, V and VI International Conferences on Novel Psychoactive Substances in Budapest, Vienna and Maastricht. She is a member of the International Society for the Study of Emergent Drugs and International Society of Substance Use Professionals. She participated in the development of national clinical standards for management of addictions caused by novel psychoactive substances. Her research activities have been supported by CADAP and UNODC.

Vicknasingam Balasingam Kasinather

Universiti Sains Malaysia

Vicknasingam B Kasinather is currently Director and Professor of Addictions at the Centre for Drug Research, Universiti Sains Malaysia.

His research is focused on understanding and developing behavioral interventions for people who use drugs. He conducts behavioral surveys to identify treatment gaps and barriers for people who use drugs. His research also focuses on the integration of substance use treatment with other medical services. Currently, he is the Malaysian principal investigator of a nationwide 5-year study entitled “Implementation of seek, test, treat and retain strategies among people who inject drugs in Malaysia” funded by the National Institute of Health US.

Since 2015, he has been member of the Scientifc Advisory Committee of the World Drug Report, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Vienna. In 2014 the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) USA presented the Award of Excellence in International Collaborative Research to Marek Chawarski from Yale University and Vicknasingam for their collaborative research work.

Andres Roman-Urrestarazu

University of Cambridge

He is a Psychiatrist whose work combines expertise in health economics, public policy, and substance abuse. He is currently a Gillings Fellow in Autism Research and Global Public Health at the University of Cambridge, and holds concurrent appointments as an Assistant Professor of International Health at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

Andres’s career has been spent at the intersection of research, policy and clinical practice, working with agencies including the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EU), the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the World Health Organization.

During his Harkness Fellowship Andres will be examining health system responses to the opioid epidemic in the US, with a focus on responses from both federal and state health policy stakeholders and health care providers, with an emphasis on varied admissions to opioid agonist therapy among vulnerable populations.

Andres holds a medical degree from the University of Santiago de Chile, a doctorate in Psychiatry from the University of Cambridge, and a master’s degree in Health Economics and International Health Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Justice Tettey

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Dr. Justice Tettey joined the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2008 as Chief of the Laboratory and Scientific Section, Division of Policy Analysis. The section is responsible for the implementation of the office’s Global Scientific and Forensic Services Programme and the Global Synthetic Drugs Monitoring Analysis Reporting and Trends (SMART) Programme and has led the UNODC response to the NPS issue, including through monitoring and trend analysis using its Global Early Warning Advisory, and provision of technical support to the forensic and law enforcement communities.

Justice Tettey holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Science & Technology, Ghana and a Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Analysis and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, from the Strathclyde University, Glasgow. He started his career in medicines regulation with the Ghana Pharmacy Board. Following completion of a Glaxo-Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship for research in chemical toxicology at the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Liverpool Medical School, he joined the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde in 2000, and led research in Pharmaceutical Analysis and Drug Metabolism, in addition to teaching on the Master of Pharmacy and Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Analysis programmes until 2008.

Justice Tettey is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry of the United Kingdom; Fellow of the United Kingdom Higher Education Academy and Member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has served as a Member of the British Pharmacopoeia Commission Expert Panel on Biological and Biotechnology Products (2003 – 2014); Visiting/Honorary Lecturer at the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Liverpool Medical School (2000-2006) and Strathclyde Institute for Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (2008-2010).

Vincenzo Abbate

King’s College London

I am a Reader in Bioanalysis within the Department of Analytical, Environmental and Forensic
Sciences at King’s College London (KCL). I completed my Pharm. D. in 2004 (110/110 cum laude) at
Federico II University of Naples (Italy). I then moved to the UK to undertake a PhD in Chemistry and
Analytical Sciences at The Open University. In 2008 I was awarded a prestigious Maplethorpe
Fellowship of the University of London for the promotion of teaching and research in the
pharmaceutical area. Following postdoctoral work with Professor Robert Hider, I was appointed as
Senior Scientist (and later as Head of R&D) in the Drug Control Centre at KCL. In 2017, I obtained my first Academic Appointment as Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Sciences, followed by a permanent, full-
time Lectureship in Analytical Toxicology in 2018. In 2019, I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in
Analytical Toxicology, followed by a promotion to Reader in Bioanalysis in 2022.
I currently lead a vibrant research group composed of 2 PDRA and 9 PhD students. My research is
multidisciplinary and of a collaborative nature and lies primarily in the area of bioanalysis
(identification and quantification of substances/biomarkers in biological samples) – with a particular
focus on the analysis of Novel Psychoactive Substances both in seized form and in biological matrices – underpinned by my expertise in analytical science synthetic chemistry. My research has been supported by funding from UKRI, the European Commission, industries, non-profit organisations, and overseas Government Studentships (combined funding ca. £1.2M as PI). I am the President of the IUPAC Subcommittee on Toxicology and Risk Assessment. I am a member of several societies, such as the RSC, ACS, SOT, and TIAFT, and a Chartered Chemist (CChem) and Chartered Scientist (CSci). I am an author/co‐author of over 90 peer reviewed publications.

Attilio Negri

ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo, Milano

Attilio Negri, MD, is a Pharmacologist and Clinical Toxicologist. He graduated at the University of Milan and is currently working at ASST Santi Paolo e Carlo Serd Territoriale in Milan. Throughout his career he worked in Psychopharmacology, Drug Misuse & Novel Psychoactive Substances Research Unit at the University of Hertfordshire under the supervision of Prof. Corazza. He developed an expertise on NPS, Behavioural Addictions and Substance Use Disorders.

Francesco Botrè

University of Lausanne

Md Mehedi Hasan

Department of Narcotics Control (DNC)

Deputy Director of the Department of Narcotics Control. Fellowship on Drug Eradication from South Korea.

Valentina Rapaccini

Child neuropsychiatry and developmental disorders service, Usl2 Umbria, Terni, Italy; University of Campus-Bio Medico, Rome, Italy

Graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015, Dr. Rapaccini is a distinguished Child Neuropsychiatrist whose focus encompasses psychotherapy and juvenile addictions. Currently serving at the Umbrian Child Neuropsychiatry and Developmental Disorders Department, she also maintains a teaching role at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome. Additionally, she engages in collaborations with Law enforcement services to oversee and address addiction concerns. Notably, Dr. Rapaccini boasts authorship of two neuropsychiatry books and her research findings have gained recognition through publication in reputable international peer-reviewed journals.

Rami Mahmoud Mohammaed Alhawi

Erada Center for tratment and rehab in Dubai

Fulfilling roles as the Nursing Supervisor and Deputy Director of Nursing at the Erada Center for Treatment and Rehab in Dubai, this professional holds a Bachelor’s degree in nursing alongside a Master’s degree in Addiction Science. With an extensive 13-year background within the psychiatric and addiction field, they have effectively led the neuromodulation unit and are dedicated to furnishing essential services while pioneering innovative treatment approaches for individuals undergoing addiction treatment. Notably, they recently contributed as a coauthor to a paper concerning “Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS),” demonstrating its potential to enhance abstinence in cases of substance use disorders accompanied by comorbid depression.

Amany El Mougy

Erada Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation

Amany El Mougy presently serves as a Consultation specialist in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine at the ERADA Center for Drug Treatment and Rehabilitation. She previously held a parallel role at Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital from April 2018 to November 2022.

In her illustrious career, she also holds the esteemed title of Professor in Psychiatry at Ain Shams University’s Faculty of Medicine, a position she’s held since 2007. Notably, from 1998 to 1999, Amany El Mougy served as a NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins University, showcasing her commitment to cutting-edge research and learning.

A true pioneer in her field, she established Egypt’s inaugural addiction clinic within a University Hospital. Her visionary contributions span the comprehensive development of drug and alcohol abuse treatment services, including inpatient, outpatient, and rehabilitation programs at Ain Shams University’s Institute of Psychiatry in Cairo. Amany El Mougy’s impact is similarly felt through her pivotal role in enhancing addiction treatment services at Al Amal Psychiatric Hospital under Emirates Health Services, Dubai, UAE.

Among her remarkable achievements, Amany El Mougy initiated educational efforts centered around addiction studies, becoming a trailblazer for integrating addiction education into both undergraduate and postgraduate curricula in Egypt. This legacy solidifies her status as a foundational figure in the advancement of addiction studies within the nation.

Abdulaziz Aldlgan

Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh, KSA

Dr. Abdulaziz Aldlgan is Consultant in Forensic Toxicology and Section Head of Toxicology Lab at Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh. He has Master in Toxicology from Birmingham University and PhD in Forensic Toxicology from Glasgow University, UK. He has expertise in analytical aspects of drugs of abuse and Novel Psychoactive Substances. He is the Chairman of the Committee of the Toxicology at Medical Services Division overseeing drugs of abuse testing services at Saudi Ministry of Interior and also a member of the Board of Saudi Toxicology Society. He has contributed to Toxicology at International and National forums with high recognition.

Mike Vigar

HMP & YOI Parc – G4S

Mike Vigar has worked at HMP & YOI Parc in South Wales for 8 and a half years. He has worked in a variety of roles that focus on substance misuse and recovery within the prison. He has presented extensively about substance misuse in prison settings, including two previous International Conferences on Novel Psychoactive Substances and the Royal College of General Practitioners’ Health and Justice Conference. Mike is a published researcher and has been heavily involved in G4S’ work in designing and delivering new prison solutions for the UK government.

Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Asmari

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre

Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Asmari currently holds the esteemed positions of Senior Toxicology Scientist and Head of the Special Toxicological Analysis Unit at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre. Alongside these roles, he has been serving as a Consultant Forensic Toxicologist since 2013. His academic prowess is backed by a PhD in Forensic Toxicology from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Glasgow, UK, acquired between 2005 and 2009.

Ahmed has been an active contributor to the Saudi Society of Clinical Biochemistry since 2018. His passion for the field led him to establish and assume the presidency of the Saudi Scientific Working Group for Forensic Toxicology (SSWGTOX) in 2021. Furthermore, he became a full-time member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and the Society of Hair Testing (SoHT) in 2021.


Ahmed is also a dedicated member of the Continuous Professional Development Committee at the Directorate of Health Affairs in Jeddah since 2020, and has been contributing to the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties Examination Committee for Clinical Chemistry of Laboratory Specialist since 2018. His professional memberships extend to being a full member of The Society of Forensic Toxicologists (SOFT) since 2009 and the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) since 2008, reflecting his profound commitment to the advancement of forensic toxicology both locally and globally.

Sam Craft

University of Bath

Sam is a PhD Student based in the Addiction and Mental Health Group at the University of Bath. He uses multidisciplinary methods to research global trends in and effects of natural and synthetic cannabinoids and other NPS.

Thomas Coombs

University Hospital Dorset

Thomas Coombs, after pursuing a BSc in Forensic Science at Bournemouth University, achieved a Ph.D. focused on establishing the prevalence, motivations, and consequences of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) within the homeless demographic. His expertise lies prominently in the intersecting fields of Homelessness and Substance Use.

Renowned for his proficiency, Thomas is adept at employing Raman and infrared spectroscopy for the identification and quantification of NPS. His repertoire extends further with extensive competence in Point-Of-Care Scientific Testing, showcasing his adeptness in real-time diagnostic procedures. Thomas Coombs also boasts a wealth of experience in employing diverse multidisciplinary research methods, further illustrating his versatility in tackling complex issues.

Liam Philip

New Zealander

Liam is a forensic scientist in New Zealand who has worked in the drug chemistry team for 3 years. He is interested in drug market trends and the factors influencing these trends.

Marie H. Deventer

Ghent University

Marie graduated in 2020 as Master in Pharmaceutical Care at Ghent University and started working at the Laboratory of Toxicology in September 2020, under the supervision of Prof. Christophe Stove. She is currently doing research on alternative strategies for the characterization of and screening for new psychoactive substances.

Alexander Power

University of Bath

Dr Alexander Power is a Research Associate for the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath. He received his PhD in Computer Science from Lancaster University, researching the application of Machine Learning for fault-tolerant Internet of Things systems. His current research interests include ethical AI for harm reduction, Web of Things standardisation, and Complex Event Processing for live data analytics.

Marthe M. Vandeputte

Ghent University

Marthe Vandeputte graduated from Ghent University in 2019 as a pharmacist with a Master’s in Drug Development. Later that year, she started a PhD at the Ghent University Laboratory of Toxicology under the supervision of professor Christophe Stove. Her research focuses on the activity-based detection and characterization of non-fentanyl-related synthetic opioids.

Ellen M. Mwenesongole

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama, USA

After studying for her BSc Chemistry (Honours) degree in Durban, South Africa, Dr Ellen Mwenesongole worked for seven years as a Senior Scientist at Procter & Gamble (South Africa and UK). She left the corporate world to pursue an MSc (Forensic Science) at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, UK (2007), an MSc (Chemistry) at the University of Pretoria, South Africa (2009), and a PhD (Forensic Science & Chemistry) at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, UK (2015). In between her studies, Dr Mwenesongole worked in toxicology, pharmaceutical and doping control laboratories. Since obtaining her PhD, Dr Mwenesongole has led the development of undergraduate and postgraduate forensic science programs in both South Africa and Botswana and she is currently an Associate Professor in Forensic Science at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her main research interests are in chemical profiling of illicit drugs as well as the detection of drugs of abuse from wastewater. Dr Mwenesongole also conducts research in wildlife forensics with emphasis on characterizing the morphological features of animal hair to aid in species identification in matters related to wildlife crime such as poaching

Bikram Subedi

Murray State University

Dr. Bikram Subedi is an Associate Professor of Analytical Chemistry at Murray State University in Kentucky, USA. Dr. Subedi’s research is primarily focused on developing and validating analytical methods capable of determining a trace level of drugs in different matrices and the surveillance of drugs in the U.S. communities. Dr. Subedi organized several symposia on Wastewater Based Epidemiology at different scientific platforms and authored >35 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Subedi currently serves as a secretary of the Environmental Chemistry division of the American Chemical Society.

Tan Ying Ying

Health Sciences Authority

Ms Tan Ying Ying is a senior forensic scientist working in the Illicit Drugs Laboratory at Health Sciences Authority, Singapore. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of illicit drug analysis and oversees a team of officers in drug testing. She has also assumed the role of an expert witness in numerous court cases, presented in more than 10 international conferences and has been engaged by UNODC to develop a set of guidelines for handheld Raman devices.

Rie Tanaka

Division of Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry and Narcotics, National Institute of Health Sciences

Dr. Rie Tanaka obtained Ph. D degree from Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Nagoya City University in 2001. She worked at the National Institute of Health Sciences (NIHS) as a postdoctoral fellowship researcher from 2001 to 2004 and worked at San-Ei Gen F.F.I., Inc. from 2004 to 2011. She was an assistant professor of Kinjo Gakuin University from 2011 to 2014. She is now a senior researcher of the NIHS since 2014.

Rachael Andrews

University of Bath

Rachael Andrews is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bath, UK. Her research is focussed on the detection of synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) and other NPS using fluorescence, organic synthesis, and analytical chemistry techniques. In collaboration with the local police force and harm reduction charities, Rachael analyses seized NPS samples to determine the active compound present. Rachael joined the EMCDDA for a study visit in January to May 2022, working with the Early Warning System team on a range of SC-related projects.

Farouq Faisal Alzahrani

Presidency of state security

MSc, PhD of forensic toxicology from University of Glasgow, UK
Director of forensic medicine and laboratories at medical department of presidency of state security, Riyadh, KSA

Maria Antonietta De Luca

University of Cagliari, Italy

I am an Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the Neuroscience Unit in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy. After obtaining my M.Sc. in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology, I specialised in Toxicology and obtained my PhD in Pharmacology of Drug Abuse at the University of Cagliari, under the supervision of Prof. Gaetano Di Chiara. During my career I have developed strong expertise in the fields of neurochemistry and behavioural pharmacology, with a major focus on the role of mesolimbic and mesocortical dopaminergic transmission in the origin of drug addiction. I have over 20 years of experience with in vivo microdialysis in rodents for monitoring brain monoamines following administration of drugs of abuse and natural rewards. I also have extensive knowledge of animal models of drug addiction with particular reference to the rewarding properties of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids.

Elisabeth Prevete

Sapienza University of Rome

Dr. Prevete is a Psychiatrist at the Unit of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Local Health Department of Latina in Italy, Sapienza University of Rome. She is also a PhD candidate at both the Department of Human Neuroscience, Sapienza University of Rome and the Department of Neuropsychology and Psychopharmacology, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Her research interest is related to psychiatry, clinical psychopharmacology and the clinical implications of various NPS. She is one of the Founding Members of the ISSED early career network on NPS.

Reem Khalaf Sulaiman Al-Essa

Drug Inspection Administration, Drug and Food Control MOH Kuwait

Bsc Pharmacy (Honors), Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy: University of Manchester, UK 1999 (Second Class Honors Degree: Division II) Masters in Business Administration (General & Strategic Management), Kuwait-Maastricht Business School, Kuwait, 2006 (Grade: Distinction) Dissertation: Strategies for Establishing Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Centre in Kuwait (The dissertation addresses the strategic plan required to establish an ADR monitoring center in terms of vision, mission, goals, objectives, financial resources, human resources, expenses, training requirements, etc).

Stefania Chiappini

University of Hertfordshire

Dr. Stefania Chiappini stands out with an impressive track record of consistently publishing a substantial number of high-quality research papers within esteemed, peer-reviewed academic journals. Additionally, she actively engages in collaborative efforts with both national and international scientific journals, serving as a reviewer and valued member of their editorial teams.

Transitioning from her public service experience, Stefania has been dedicated to her role as a full-time physician consultant psychiatrist at Villa Mariapia Psychiatric Hospital in Rome since 2019, under the guidance of Prof. Martinotti. Over the past three years, their collaboration has flourished, leading to joint academic projects and engagements at the University of Chieti. In 2020, she achieved distinction by securing a research grant to oversee the Vortioxetine in the Elderly vs SSRIs: a Pragmatic Assessment (VESPA) study.

Her current involvement encompasses a range of critical studies, including the assessment of Esketamine (Spravato®) as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression. Stefania also leads the validation of the Dual Disorder Rating Scale (DDRS) and plays a pivotal role in the Dual Disorder Trial (DDT), exploring the impact of Brexpiprazole, Lurasidone, and Quetiapine on Schizophrenic subjects with co-occurring alcohol or substance use disorders.

Her contributions extend to evaluating the effectiveness of family psychoeducational interventions for major depression through a randomized controlled trial. Additionally, Stefania delves into the neurobiological underpinnings of Alcohol Use Disorder following transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) treatment.

Amira Guirguis

Swansea University

Amira is a pharmacist who gained her PhD in the in-field detection of New Psychoactive Substance (NPS). Amira is the MPharm Programme Director at Swansea University Medical School and an Associate Professor of Pharmacy. She is the Scheduled Drugs Lead of the RPS (Royal Pharmaceutical Society) Science and Research Committee, a member of the National Implementation Board for Drug Poisoning Prevention and a member of the Western Bay Substance Use Truth Commission. Amira’s research interests focus on social listening of NPS use, enhancing the in-field detection of NPS, training and education of healthcare professionals on NPS and developing harm reduction interventions.

Alessandro Carollo

University of Trento

Alessandro Carollo is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science at the University of Trento in Italy. Alessandro previously completed a Bachelor in Cognitive Science and a Master in Clinical Psychology. His interests lie in investigating the neural and behavioral mechanisms of social interactions in typical and atypical populations.

Lara Santi

PAN-RADO and Italo-Brasilian College Institute ( St Paulo, Brazil)

Bachelor Degree in Biomedical Science – Health and Medical Sciences School Methodist University of St Paulo -UMESP, Brazil
Biotechnology Specialization – Maring√° State University (UEM)- Brazil
Drugs in Sports Specialization (International Olympic Committee)
Sports Physiology Specialization – S√£o Paulo Federal University- (UNIFESP)
Ethical and Antidoping Committee in the Brazilian Aquatic Sports Confederation (CBDA), Brazil
Ethical and Antidoping Committee in the Brazilian Cycling Confederation (CBC), Brazil
International Doping Control Officer and Blood Collector Officer certificate at USADA ( United States Antidoping Agency), International Testing Agency ( ITA), ,Brazilian Antidoping Agency ( ABCD) and PAN- RADO
Worked in many Major Events as doping control specialist ,as Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, 2020 Lausanne Youth Winter Olympic Games, etc

Safia Sharif

University of Hertfordshire

Dr Safia Sharif has master’s degrees in clinical drug development (Queen marry London University, 2012) and she defended her doctoral thesis at the University of Hertfordshire on January 17th, 2023. Safia’s PhD research focused on cognitive enhancement drug use among university students. Safia has also worked at RAK Medical and Health Sciences University in UAE as a research associate. She is also member of the Substance Misuse and Novel Psychoactive Substances Research Unit, School of Life and Medical Sciences, University of Hertfordshire, UK.

Liesl K. Janssens

Ghent University

Liesl Janssens (1996) graduated in June 2019 as Master of Science in Drug Development at Ghent University. In September 2019 she started her PhD at the Laboratory of Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ghent University, under the promotership of prof. C Stove. Her research focuses on the development and application of bioassays for activity-based monitoring of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists and performance enhancing drugs.

Yazed Al Ruthia

King Saud University College of Pharmacy

Yazed Sulaiman Al Ruthia has completed his bachelor degree in pharmaceutical sciences back in 2007 from King Saud University College of Pharmacy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He earned his post-baccalaureate Doctor of Pharmacy Degree (Pharm.D) from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Boston, USA in May 2011, and his PhD degree in Health Outcomes and Policy with emphasis on Pharmacoeconomics from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in May 2015. Dr. AlRuthia is now an associate professor of health policy and economics at King Saud University College of Pharmacy and active researcher where he published more than 60 research articles since he came back. 

Adel Alzayed

Kuwait Centre for mental health ( KCMH )

Alyaa Aljasmi

Erada Center for Treatment and Rehab

Alyaa Aljasmi is Head of patient’s Care and Rehab at Erada Center for Treatment and Rehab in Dubai with more than 10 years’ experience helping substance abuse patients and families with substance abuse related issues and problems. Alyaa Aljasmi is holding a Master Degree from Sharjah University specialized in Applied Sociology, Family counseling and social work, in addition to a Bachelor Degree from Zayed University specialized on Children, Youth and Family Services. she holds community development Authority, social counselor license. She is trained in different psychosocial intervention Models such as Matrix Module and CBT Module. She is also trained with CARF organization on high quality standards for substance abuse programs. She is responsible at Erada Center to develop substance abuse patient’s psychosocial Rehab program using best practice and evidence based modules. Alyaa also is responsible about internal and external projects in the community with different government organizations.

Fadwa Al Mughairbi

UAE University

Wael Foad

Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation, Dubai, UAE

Wael Foad’s extensive qualifications and contributions in the field of psychiatry are noteworthy. He holds the distinction of being both a Fellow and a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK. His educational journey encompasses a Master’s Degree in Health and Social Care Management from Liverpool John Moore’s University.

With an accomplished background, he previously served as a Consultant General Adult Psychiatrist in the NHS in the UK before relocating to the UAE in 2015. In the last three years, Wael Foad has held the position of a Consultant in Addiction Psychiatry at the Erada center, a vital government service for addiction treatment and rehabilitation in Dubai. Presently, he also takes on the role of Acting Medical Director.

Simultaneously, Wael Foad holds an Assistant Professor position at Dubai Medical College and serves as the Master Program Coordinator for the Postgraduate Master’s degree program in the Clinical Sciences of Addiction. His passion lies in Neuromodulation, particularly rTMS in the context of addiction. He holds the prestigious role of Director of the Neuromodulation Unit at Erada center.

His contributions extend to notable publications, including a piece in the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry examining the link between rTMS and abstinence duration in substance use disorders with comorbid depression. Additionally, he stands as a co-author in an Epidemiological Study of Suicidal Ideation and Suicidal Behaviour Among Patients with Substance Use Disorders, which was featured in the Journal of Adiktolojie in November 2022.

Wael Foad’s active engagement is evident through multiple poster presentations at the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Congress from 2007 to 2021, showcasing his commitment to advancing the field.

Valeria Catalani

University of Hertfordshire (UH)

Valeria Catalani, MSc, Ph.D. (candidate) – Researcher – Ph.D, candidate working on the analyses and the assessment Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) within the Psychopharmacology, Drug Misuse & Novel Psychoactive Substances Research Unit at the University of Hertfordshire. She has a Master’s degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies (Rome, La Sapienza University, 2010) with special interest in New Psychoactive Substances and computational chemistry. Works experience includes Antidoping, Forensic and High Resolution Mass Spectrometry.

28976 Dr Christopher Pudney. Dept of Biology and Biochemistry. Faculty of Science Staff Portraits 16 May 2016. Client: Ellen Netto – Faculty of Science

Christopher R Pudney

University of Bath

Pudney obtained a first-class undergraduate master’s degree in biochemistry at The University of Bath with research at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine (2005). He studied for his PhD in the lab of Prof. Nigel Scrutton at The University of Manchester (2008) where he worked on quantum mechanical phenomena in biology. Post-doctoral worked followed in time-resolved FRET and single molecule imaging. In 2012 he returned to the University of Bath as an assistant Professor in Biochemistry, now Associate Professor.
Pudney’s lab develops new detection and analytical technologies for pharmaceutical and illegal drugs. These activities include developing technology for the prediction of biopharmaceutical stability, which span-out of the University of Bath in 2020, BLOC Laboratories Ltd. The technology, QUBES, employs a novel photophysical phenomenon to rapidly monitor the stability of biopharmaceuticals (e.g., antibodies and viruses). More recently the group has developed technology for the instant presumptive detection of synthetic cannabinoids (SCs) on complex surfaces and the technology is being trialled in UK prisons. The technology is now growing to include detection of other novel psychoactive substances (NPS) including benzodiazepines and nitazenes. The group is funded by a range of sources including UK government and direct from industry.

Neha Tomar

National Forensic Sciences University

Dr Neha Tomar is currently serving the National Forensic Science University, Delhi, India under the Ministry of Home Affairs in a capacity of an Assistant Professor. She is an ingenious academician and ardent researcher holding 12 years of rich experience. She has been awarded her doctorate in Forensic Science with a specialisation in Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology. She has published several research papers in peer-reviewed journals of international repute. Besides her academic and research credentials, she holds a green belt in Lean Six Sigma and is also a trained expert in Forensic Facial Reconstruction using -3D techniques. She is an active member of reputed societies such as the Indian Science Congress and the Indian Society of Criminology.

Sevde Dogruer Erkok

Florida International University

Sevde Dogruer Erkok is a Ph.D. candidate in Professor Bruce McCord‚Äôs trace laboratory at Florida International University (FIU). She is originally from Turkey, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree with honors in Teaching Chemistry, as the highest-ranked student. While pursuing her Ph.D., she received two master‚Äôs degrees, one in Forensic Sciences and one in Analytical Chemistry.
Before starting her Ph.D., she visited Dr. McCord’s laboratory as a volunteer intern. She worked on the development of a method utilizing gold-silver nanostars to detect trace amounts of fentanyl in binary mixtures of both heroin and cocaine by portable Raman spectroscopy. Her current research mainly focuses on differentiating structurally similar fentanyl analogs with a theoretical and experimental analysis and detecting them in illicit drug mixtures by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). Sevde was awarded a Dissertation Evidence Acquisition Fellowship from FIU, and she is involved in a collaborative project between Florida International University and the University of Amsterdam in the Spring of 2023. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop SERS paper substrates to detect fentanyl analogs by combining SERS and paper spray mass spectroscopy (PS-MS). She is leading a team under the supervision of Prof. Arian van Asten at the University of Amsterdam. She has been accepted for an internship in the Department of Homeland Security-POWER program in the Summer of 2023. The project focuses on research related to fentanyl detection and opioids as they relate to U.S. and Canadian policies and homeland security missions.
Sevde has presented her research at numerous conferences worldwide. Her work has been recognized by national and international awards, including the best poster award at two conferences, the Young Scientist Travel Award, and National Science Foundation (NSF) travel award. She is an active member of different organizations such as the American Academy of Forensic Science, The Coblentz Society, the Society for Applied Spectroscopy, etc. She also has a scholarship from the TÜBİTAK Directorate of Science Fellowships and Grant Programs (BİDEB) in Turkey

Jennifer Huynh

Laboratoire de sciences judiciaires et de medecine legale, Canada

Ms. Jennifer Huynh holds a bachelor’s degree in forensic chemistry from the University of Quebec (Trois-Rivières) and is pursuing graduate studies in clinical pharmacology at the University of Montreal. She is currently a forensic toxicologist at the Quebec Provincial Forensic Science authority, as well as a course coordinator at the University of Montreal School of Criminology.

Merve Kuloglu Genc

Istanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, the Institute of Forensic Sciences and Legal Medicine

Merve Kuloglu Genc is currently a research assistant at the Institute of Forensic Sciences and Legal Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpaşa. She received her Bachelor Degree on Chemistry at the Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey in 2014 and her MSc in Forensic Analysis at Kingston University London in 2015. The subject of her MSc research was to develop an analytical method for the detection of Phenazepam, which was widely abused in the UK at that time and can still be found in designer benzodiazepines type NPS today. In 2023 January, she successfully defended her thesis and awarded with PhD at the Institute of Forensic Sciences and Legal Medicine, Istanbul University-Cerrahpaşa. Her PhD research mainly focused on the simultaneous analytical detection of different NPS groups via wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE).

In her early years in Istanbul University-Cerrahpa≈üa, she started to work as a scholar in a project on the determination of illicit substances from wastewater, where she met with WBE approach. Since 2017 her main research focuses on developing analytical methods for the detection and monitoring of licit and illicit drugs via WBE. She carries out toxicological studies, which focus on substance groups such as drugs of abuse, NPS, pharmaceuticals etc. with HPLC, GC-MS and LC-MS/MS systems. During her doctorate, Merve gained information on European Union-based substance abuse policies by participating in summer school trainings of EMCDDA. She also received a research scholarship and worked as a visiting researcher at the Research Institute for Pesticides and Water (IUPA) of the University Jaume I in 2021. Merve’s motivation is to dive deeper into the world of NPS and broaden her knowledge and research on the field.


Ching Yee Fong

Health Science Authority Singapore

Ms Ching Yee Fong is currently the Senior Forensic Scientist of Drug Abuse Testing Unit of the Analytical Toxicology Laboratory, Health Science Authority, Singapore, working on the detection of controlled drugs in urine and hair specimens for about 14 years. Her research interest in mainly on the analysis of new psychoactive substances (NPS) and she has also published several scientific papers relating to the identification of urinary biomarker of new evolving synthetic cannabinoids in authentic urine samples. Ching Yee graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong with a Master of Philosophy, major in Chemistry in 2002. She worked in Hong Kong Government Laboratory as the laboratory officer before she joined Health Science Authority in January 2009.

Eline Pottie

Ghent University

Eline graduated in June 2017 as Master of Drug Development. She started working at the Laboratory of Toxicology in January 2018, and developed bioassays to monitor activation of various G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). In 2022, she defended her PhD thesis entitled ‘An enlightening trip through psychedelic and purinergic signaling’. As a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratory of Toxicology, she now focuses on bioassays for a better understanding of the in vitro pharmacology of psychedelic substances.

Kirsten L Rock

King’s College London

Kirsten Rock is a Research Assistant in Dr Caroline Copeland’s group at King’s College London. Kirsten holds an MSc degree in Drug Development Science with Distinction from King’s College London and a BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from California Lutheran University. Her research interests lie in the field of substance misuse and harm reduction. Her previous work and publications focused on drug-related deaths in the UK using the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths (NPSAD), one of the largest linked datasets in the world, to detect trends in fatalities where psychoactive substances were detected.

Rita Roque-Bravo

UCIBIO-REQUIMTE, Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto

Rita Roque Bravo is a PhD student in the Neuroscience Doctoral Program of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto. Her academic background includes a BSc in Biology from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto and a MSc in Analytical, Clinical and Forensic Toxicology from the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto. Her master’s thesis focused on the hepatotoxic effects of new psychoactive substances. Her areas of interest include Toxicology and Neurosciences, with particular emphasis on Neuropharmacology and Neurotoxicology.

Rui Filipe Cerqueira Malheiro

(UCIBIO) Unidade de Ciências Biomoleculares Aplicadas РToxicology Lab, Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Porto

Completed an MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2017 from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Porto. Currently pursuing a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at REQUIMTE – Applied Biomolecular Sciences Unit since 2020. Has published 5 articles in journals and contributed 1 section to a book, as well as delivered several oral communications and poster presentations at highly reputable international conferences in the field of toxicology (e.g. EUROTOX Congress, Society of Toxicology Annual Meeting).