CRS Board of Directors 2024-2025

Please welcome the newly elected Board of Directors for 2024-2025

Please check back following the 2024 Annual Meeting for the full 2024-2025 Board of Directors list.

President-Elect, Maria Vicent, Ph.D.

MVMaría J. Vicent gained her Ph.D. in 2001 from Univ. Jaume I (Spain) after several scientific stays at Fréchet’s lab. (Univ. California Berkeley, USA). She moved to the Centre for Polymer  Therapeutics at Cardiff Univ with Prof. R. Duncan in 2002 after receiving a Marie Curie   Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2004, María joined CIPF (Valencia, Spain) through a Marie Curie   Reintegration contract and became head of the Polymer Therapeutics Lab in 2006, where she oversees the Screening Platform- an ERIC-EU-OPENSCREEN specialist site and coordinates the Advanced Therapies Program. María’s research group focuses on the application of polymer therapeutics in unmet clinical needs thanks to funding by national and EU grants. She has received several prizes and has been elected as a member of the AIMBE and CRS College of Fellows. She has published over 140 papers and 13 patents, three already licensed to industry and a fourth used as the foundation of the company PTS (Valencia, Spain) in 2012 now named Curapath after being acquired by Arcline Venture firm in 2021. María was the SPLC-CRS president (2010-2013) and the AMPC chair of the annual CRS meeting in 2019. Currently acts as, advisory board member of many journals in the field including JCR, and she’s editor in chief of ADDR starting January 23.

Secretary, Bruno Sarmento, Ph.D.


Dr Bruno Sarmento is Principal Investigator and Professor of Drug Delivery at Institute of Research and Innovation in Health (i3S) – University of Porto, the most important research center on biomedicine in Portugal. He gained his PhD from the University of Porto (2007), in collaboration with Queen’s University, Canada, Copenhagen University, Denmark and University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, developing innovative polymer-based nanoformulations for oral delivery of insulin. Bruno Sarmento was appointed professor in 2008, and entered i3S as Group Leader in 2012. Since 2019 is member of the Board of Directors of i3S – University of Porto. His scientific research is focused on the development of drug delivery systems, with special attention on nanotechnology, and their application to the pharmaceutical and biomedical fields. He is interested in engineering targeted nanomedicines by identifying novel biological targets, proposing new functional ligands and producing tailored nanoplatforms for the delivery of therapeutic molecules for managing cancer, infection and metabolic diseases.

He pioneered translatable nanofabrication approaches using different macro and microfluidics methodologies that allow for the encapsulation of small molecules, biomacromolecules and their functionalization with active ligand moieties to target biological receptors, considering cellular and molecular bioengineering concepts.

His research contributes with fundamental insights on nanocarriers used for drug delivery applications in order to understand their mechanism of transport at the tissue and cellular levels and on the advantages of nanosystems used for prevention, diagnostics, and therapy. In particular, he is committed to unravel the real value of “nano” for mucosal drug delivery; develop mucodiffusive, molecular bioengineered nanoparticles for the oral delivery of antidiabetic peptides; establish advanced multistage functionalized nanoparticles for diagnostic and treatment of colorectal cancer and glioblastoma; and develop nanotechnology-based platforms for prevent and treat infection diseases. He has also specialized in 3D in vitro cell-based models and organ-on-a-chip platforms, closely resembling the basic characteristics of healthy and injured tissues, with special emphasis on intestinal tissue engineering mucosa, pulmonary air-liquid interface and heterotypic multicellular tumor microtissues generated through high-throughput 3D modeling. These models allow to identify mechanisms of action for drugs and functional nanoparticles, ultimately correlate with in vivo extrapolation and validation.

His research is aimed at translating with the industry, having established several collaboration agreements with international companies and participated as an entrepreneur in the creation of spin-offs. His work has attracted funding of >25 million €, from public and private entities, and pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. Bruno Sarmento published more 500 papers (total citations of 21000; H-index 74) and was invited speaker in the most prestigious international scientific meetings. He has supervised 45 PhD students and 14 post-doctoral fellows, all of whom have shared their research at CRS annual meetings. Bruno Sarmento has enjoyed supporting CRS in various roles since he joined the Society in 2006, still as PhD student. This has included: Board member and vice-president of Spanish-Portugal CRS Local Chapter, Chair of the Nanomedicine and Nanoscale Drug Delivery Focus Group, Chair of the International Chapter Committee, CRS Board Liaison for Local Chapters, Associate Editor of Drug Delivery and Translational Research and editor of several Special Issues, Editorial Board of the Journal of Controlled Release, Vice Chair for Technical Programming of the 2021 Annual Meeting and regular attendant of Annual Meetings organized by CRS since 2006.

Treasurer-Elect, Bastiaan deLeeuw, M.Sc.


Bastiaan J  deLeeuw is presently Sr. Director and General Manager of Corbion Biomaterials in Gorinchem (The Netherlands), responsible for the manufacturing operations in The Netherlands and all commercial operations in EMEA and Asia. Corbion Biomaterials is a leading global supplier of GMP-grade bioresorbable polymers for use in medical implant devices as well as controlled release  drug formulations.

 Bastiaan has been active in the field of drug delivery for the last 25 years and an active member of the Controlled Release Society, including a being a member of the Finance Committee since 2015. Throughout his career he has served in a wide variety of commercial and operational roles and  led projects covering dry-powder formulation development, inhaler design and development, and auto-injector design and development, as well as the associated stages of clinical and regulatory evaluations. In addition, he led the initial clinical evaluation of urologic diagnostic tests at NovioGendix (now MDxHealth) and has worked at Focus Inhalation, Akela Pharma, Oval Medical, Bespak, and Cambridge Design Partnership.

He holds a degree in biopharmaceutical sciences from Leiden University in The Netherlands where he graduate on the use of polymeric drug delivery systems for oral peptide delivery.

Director-at-Large, Laura Ensign, Ph.D. (3-year term through 2027)

leLaura Ensign, PhD, is the Marcella E. Woll Professor of Ophthalmology with secondary appointments in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Infectious Diseases, Gynecology & Obstetrics, and Oncology at Johns Hopkins University. Her research is focused on the principle of characterizing biological barriers in health and disease in order to design more efficacious formulations for prophylactic and therapeutic drug delivery. Her laboratory is a diverse group of scientists with expertise in biomaterials, chemistry, engineering, pharmacology, molecular biology, and computer science. Mentees from Laura’s group have pursued careers in various sectors, including the pharmaceutical industry, academia, venture, regulatory, and science policy and communication.  Laura is a co-inventor of several drug delivery technologies, some of which that have led to FDA approved products or are in various stages of clinical trials. Laura has been actively involved in CRS for many years, most recently as the Chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC) for the CRS 2023 Annual meeting. Laura is also the recent recipient of the Rising Women in Science Award, and a member of the College of Fellows. Laura is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Controlled Release and Drug Delivery and Translational Research.