Dritan Agalliu completed his Ph.D. in Genetics and Cell Biology from Columbia University in 2006 and his postdoctoral training in Neuroscience from Stanford University in 2011. Dr. Agalliu started his independent academic career as an Assistant Professor in 2011 at the University of California, Irvine and he was recruited in the Department of Neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in 2015 where he is currently an Associate Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology in Neurology. Dr. Agalliu has 25 years of biomedical research expertise in neuroscience and neurological diseases.
Dr. Agalliu’s research is focused on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate the formation of brain blood vessels and their properties, specifically the blood-brain barrier, and the mechanisms that trigger neurovascular dysfunction in neurological diseases ranging from ischemic stroke to autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases using genetic, molecular, cellular, computational and imaging approaches. Dr. Agalliu has received numerous grants in support of his research from the National Institute of Health, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Heart Association, the Leducq Foundation. He was the recipient of the Harold and Golden Lamport Research Award for Excellence in Basic Sciences from Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2020. Dr. Agalliu has trained more than 30 postdoctoral scientists, graduate and undergraduate students and he has published numerous research articles in prestigious scientific journals including Nature, Cell, Neuron, Nature Communications, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Acta Neuropathologica, Brain, Cell Reports.
Aurela Anastas completed her studies at the Faculty of Law, University of Tirana in 1987, after which she was appointed as an Assistant Professor. She has contributed to the Department of Public Law and developing the discipline of Constitutional Law. She has been elected twice as Chair of the Department and appointed for short terms as Deputy Dean or Dean of the Faculty.
In 2017-18, Prof. Anastas was a Fulbright Scholar at Boston College Law School. She is the author or co-author of several articles, conference, papers, monographs and textbooks. Her book Gender Equality and Justice was recently published by the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Albania.
Prof. Anastas has directed several national and international projects for the development of legislation and jurisprudence in Albania, such as chairing working groups for national constitutional and legal reforms. Such working groups include the Constitutional Reform for the Justice system (2016), for the drafting of laws on gender equality in society and protection against discrimination and domestic violence.
Prof. Anastas is a guest lecturer in the ongoing training of judges and prosecutors at the School of Magistrates. She is a member of the International Association of Constitutionalists (since 2014) and has been a member of the European Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission), on behalf of Albania. Prof. Anastas has also served as a lawyer for civil society organizations and has created law clinics to provide free legal aid to those in need.
For the activities she performed, Aurela Anastas has received certificates of appreciation from several national and international non-governmental organizations. She was also awarded the Certificate of Appreciation by the Ismail Qemali University of Vlorë.
Mirjeta Beqiri holds a BBA in Statistics from the University of Tirana, Albania, and an MBA and Ph.D. in Operations Management from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, USA. Dr. Beqiri serves as the MBA Programs Director and teaches courses in the field of Data Analysis and Operations Management at Gonzaga University, USA, since 2002. In addition, Dr. Beqiri volunteers to teach in the Jesuit Worldwide Learning program. Prior to coming to the United States, Dr. Beqiri worked as the Director of the Statistical Directory of the District Council of Shkoder, Albania, and as Assistant Professor and Department Chair at the Faculty of Economy, University “Luigj Gurakuqi”, Shkoder, Albania
.In 2013, Dr. Beqiri was awarded with the Gratitude of University of Shkodra for “Distinguished contribution in the establishment, sustainment and advancement of the School of Economics”. Dr. Beqiri’s research interests include perceived waiting times, service quality, outsourcing, business ethics, business education, and distance learning. She is a member of several professional organizations, such as Decision Sciences Institute, POMS, and EUROMA.
Dr. Beqiri serves (or has served) both the School of Business and Gonzaga University, holding such positions, as: Regent, Chair of the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Chair of the Graduate Programs Committee, Academic Council, and Faculty Senate, to name a few. In the Spokane community, Dr. Beqiri serves as the Vice President of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Inland Northwest and supports other organizations, as well.
For her outstanding performance Dr. Beqiri has been awarded with “Best Paper Award” (2007), “Outstanding MBA Professor of the Year Award” (multiple times), and Gonzaga University’s “Faculty Exemplary Award” (2013). She has received also several awards from the School of Business Administration, Gonzaga University.
Arjan Gjonça is a demographer at London School of Economics. He holds a Ph.D. in Demography from LSE. Dr Gjonça’s work experience includes institutions such as Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research; University of Southampton; University of Bocconi, and Department of Social Policy at LSE.
He is a member of different professional bodies, and has held leading and honorific positions in many of them, including International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, British Society for Population Studies (Honorary Secretary), European Association for Population Studies, Population Association of America, DemoBalk Association (Vice-President) and many more.
Dr Gjonça has acted as an adviser to different international organisations and national governments, including the World Bank, UNFPA, UNDP, UK Government, Albanian Government, Turkish Government, Kosovo and Bosnian Governments. His recent contribution includes chairing the Commission on the Reform of Higher Education in Albania (2013-2015); co-chairing the expert group of Scientific Research of the Berlin Process on Western Balkan Countries in 2015-2017, and Chair of the Accreditation Board of Higher education in Albania (2015-2021).
Dr Gjonça’s research interests and publications focus on health and mortality transitions in developing countries; demography of the Balkans; sex imbalances at birth and female disadvantages in health and mortality in developing countries as well as the interplay between development and tradition in shaping demographic and behaviour. Arjan’s research has been published in world rated demographic and epidemiological journals such as Population Studies, Population and Development Review, The LANCET and many more.
Arben Merkoçi has 30 years of experience in the academic field with focus in the research, development and innovation including technology transfer in nanotechnology. He is ICREA Research Professor and group leader at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (www.icn2.cat) in Barcelona, Spain and co-founder of two spin-off nanotech companies, GraphenicaLab & PaperDrop. Prof. Merkoçi is Co-Editor in Chief of Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the principal international journal in this area. He has been member of the commission for establishing the new Nanoscience and Nanotechnology undergraduate academic curriculum at the UAB, the first one in Spain.
He is member of the Academics Working Group of Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (www.bist.eu) and coordinator of the Nanodiagnostics module of the Nanotechnology Master at the UAB. He is Member of the Academy of Sciences of Albania and Director of its NANOALB unit (www.nanoalb.al). He has been member of Higher Education Accreditation Board of Albania, scientific evaluator and member of panels of experts of various international governmental and nongovernmental agencies (EU-FP and EU-ERC panels and other panels in Europe, USA and other countries), scientific committee member of international congresses, director of several workshops and other scientific events. He has published over 300 hundred research papers (Google Scholar H index 87), supervised 35 Ph.D. students and have been invited to give plenary lectures, keynote and invited speeches in more than 200 occasions in various countries. He is one of the two representatives of Albania in the ALLEA Working Group ERA.
Aljula Jubani is the Head of the Institute for European Studies at the University of Tirana. She completed her Ph.D. in Experimental Phonetics, in 2006, at the University of Calabria, with the first acoustic study of the complete phonological system of the Standard Albanian Language. Her research is focused in analyzing and determining the acoustic features of the phonological system, whose results are very important to tackle different issues not only in the domain of the metalinguistic studies, but also for logopedics studies and in the area of forensic linguistics.
Her research interests include linguistics (gender & linguistics, political linguistics), religious studies, cultural heritage studies, Albanian diaspora studies (arbëresh, arvanitas, arbënesh), etc.
Prof. Jubani has 24 years of experience as university professor and researcher. During her career she has held various positions, such as: Head of the Department Linguistics, Vice Dean of the Faculty of History and Philology, Editor-in-chief of the journal of the same Faculty “Albanological Studies” etc. She has been an evaluation expert “Sportello Linguistico Arbëresh” (Calabria, Italy); She is member of the Commission of Language and Literature, Academy of Sciences of Albania, Member of the Inter-academical Council for the Albanian Language etc.
She was awarded the medal “Pro Ecclesia and Pontefice” (Egregia Opera Stvdioque Conspicvis Praecipve Constitvtvm) by Pope Francis, in 2021.