Professional Profile

Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji, B.Pharm., Ph.D.

Photo Director, Center for Drug Discovery and Development
Associate Professor
Dept: Pharmaceutical Sciences
Phone: 954-262-1350
Campus: Fort Lauderdale

Dr. Qalaji is an Associate Professor and Director for the Center for Drug Discovery and Development (CD3) at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Florida, USA. Dr. Qalaji is a Syrian-Canadian pharmacist who earned his Pharmacy degree (1995) from King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics (2006) from the University of Manitoba, Canada.

He joined Pharmaceutical Industry - QLT Inc. (2007) in Vancouver, Canada, as a postdoc in Preclinical Formulation and was awarded Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Fellowship. Also, he worked as a formulation scientist for ENWAVE Corp. (2008) in Vancouver, Canada.

Dr. Qalaji joined Nova Southeastern University (2008-present) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He taught in the undergraduate program of the Faculty of Science at the University of Manitoba, Canada, and in the Pharm. D. professional program and Ph.D. program of the College of Pharmacy at NSU, Florida. He was selected as the Best Teacher for 2010 and nominated for the Golden Apple Award. Also, he was selected as the Professor of the Year for 2014 and Nominated multiple times for Student Life Achievement Award.

He received several international, national, provincial, and institutional awards and recognitions. He was awarded Strategic Training in Allergy Research (ST*AR) Award from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Grant Writing Workshop sponsored by National Institutes of Health (NIH), The Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy (CFP) National Award, Manitoba Health Research Council (MHRC) Award, Manitoba Institute of Child Health (MICH) Award, Manitoba Pharmaceutical Association (MPhA) Award, Ebla Private University recognition, and NSU extramural funding recognition.

Dr. Qalaji and his team developed novel formulation of fast disintegrating sublingual tablet of epinephrine for the treatment of anaphylaxis. The Pre-IND has been reviewed favorably by the FDA and Dr. Qalaji’s novel sublingual epinephrine tablet was recently licensed through NSU, which is the the second license for Dr. Qalaji. This novel sublingual epinephrine tablet will offer a non-invasive, user-friendly, and cost-effective alternative treatment for anaphylaxis compared to EpiPen® intramuscular injection. Currently, he is working on developing another novel formulation for the non-invasive sublingual delivery of Atropine for various clinical indications.

Dr. Qalaji’s research was featured in CNBC, Life Sciences South Florida, Popular Sciences, Digital Trends, and NSU Realizing Potential Newsletter.

Dr. Qalaji has over 24 provisional, international, US, European, and Canadian patent applications. Also, he has 66 peer-reviewed and published research articles and abstracts and 29 presentations. Dr. Qalaji supervised and mentored 3 Ph.D. students, 19 Pharm. D. and dental research students, associates and co-op students.

Research Interests:
• Enhancing the permeability and the relative bioavailability of poorly absorbed drugs by nanotechnology. • Formulation and delivery of drug-loaded nanoparticles through non-invasive and user-friendly routes of administration. • Formulation and evaluation of sublingual ODT tablet as an alternative, non-invasive dosage form.
Research Interests keywords:
Nanoparticles, Orally Disintegrating Tablets (ODT), Drug Release, Dissolution, Absorption, Bioavailability, Non-invasive and patient-friendly drug delivery approach.
Only funded candidates may apply for post-doctoral fellow position.
Contact information: Dr. Mutasem Rawas-Qalaji (
Date Posted: 05/29/2014

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