• Group Members


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    Liana Vella-Zarb

    Liana read for a Bachelor of Pharmacy [Hons] degree at the University of Malta and worked in the pharmaceutical industry before moving to Birmingham, UK in 2004 to carry out her EPSRC-funded doctoral studies under the supervision of Dr Maryjane Tremayne. Her work was centered around the complementary use of computational crystal structures and X-ray powder diffraction data in crystal structure determination, and formed part of the CPOSS (Control and Prediction of the Organic Solid State) project (www.cposs.org.uk).


    Before joining the University of Malta's Department of Chemistry as a Lecturer, Liana held postdoctoral fellowships, also had a brief stint in an industrial setting, having worked for generic pharmaceutical companies and Heritage Malta, with whom she has formed collaborative links. During her time at the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgart, Germany (www.fkf.mpg.de), she worked in Prof. Dr Robert Dinnebier's group on exploring variable temperature and pressure environments in structure determination of organic and pharmaceutical compounds from high-resolution powder diffraction data. She then moved to Prof. Dr John S.O. Evans's group at the Chemistry Department, University of Durham, UK (www.dur.ac.uk) where she expanded her research to include inorganic structures and single crystal diffraction techniques, whilst maintaining a steady research output in the field of pharmaceutical crystallography and crystal engineering.


    Liana was promoted to Associate Professor in March 2018, and, together with Professor Ulrich Baisch from the University of Malta, secured a EUR 4.8M grant to set up a new Centre for Solid State Research in Malta. This has enabled the purchase of top notch instrumentation and the creation of a centre of excellence.


    Liana is now a Senior Pharmacist at the Malta Medicines Authoriry. When she is not at work, she is either caring for her son, or teaching classical ballet.