Members

Dr. Zoltán Takács

(PharmD, PhD, project leader, founder of
VRG) is a pharmacologist, molecular research pharmacist who
specializes in the functional and genomic aspects of ligand-
receptor interactions. Co-inventor of Designer Toxins,
developer of a technology platform for high-throughput
screening of animal toxins in search of new therapeutic key

compounds. The development of Takács toxin libraries led to
autoimmune diseases of the KCNA3 potassium channel and to its
KcsA ligand. He earned a PhD in pharmacology, at Columbia
University, conducted postdoctoral research at Rockefeller
University and Yale University, and studied at the University
of Chicago before launching ToxinTech to develop new
therapeutic compounds derived from animal toxins. Their
results have been published in high impact journals such as
the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr.
Takács is a recipient of the Columbia Earth Institute
Fellowship and National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer
Awards. From university to biotech, Takács has given extensive
lectures around the world and has an established international
network for accessing toxin samples. His research findings
have also been reported by CNN, BBC, PBS and the National
Geographic Channel.

Prof. Dr. János Nacsa

(MD, PhD, project leader, founder of
VRG) microbiologist and immunologist, who participated in
development of the first and only HIV/AIDS vaccine effective
as of today in humans. He received his MD and PhD degrees in
anti-HIV drug development at the University of Szeged,
conducting research at the University of Manchester, Aix-
Marseille Université and Humboldt University of Berlin too. As
a postdoctoral Fogarty fellow, has worked in the field of
virology and cellular immunology at the Center for Biologics,
Evaluation and Research (CBER) – Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), and also as a Fogarty fellow and later as a Visiting
Scientist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) – National
Institutes of Health (NIH), in the United States. There, he
achieved pioneering results in pre-clinical preventive and
therapeutic AIDS vaccine research. He is a co-author of the
worldwide patented immune-reconstitution based therapeutic
immunization of AIDS. Previously, he discovered and patented
with his colleagues a novel family of multidrug resistance
inhibitors for cancer cells resistant to chemotherapeutic
drugs at the University of Szeged and Humboldt University,
Berlin. He published his results in peer reviewed journals
like Nature Medicine, J. Immunology, J. Virology. Dr. Nacsa is
currently the Director of Research and Development at the
National Blood Transfusion Services in Hungary and Visiting
Professor at the University of Szeged.

Dr. Viktor Orosz

(MD, MBA, CEO of VRG) is a general
practitioner and expert in transfusiology. Founder, and
between 2015-2019 CEO and Professional Director of Vascular
Plazma Ltd. Currently he is a Managing and Professional
Director of Vascular Venture Ltd. Prior to 2015, he held
leadership positions at several pharmaceutical companies like

Janssen-Cilag Ltd, SmithKline Beecham Ltd, Lundbeck Hungary
Ltd, Medico Uno Ltd.

Dr. Sándor Farkas

(MD, PhD, Project Coordinator of VRG) is a
physician and non-clinical pharmacologist and drug developer
with 33 years of experience in the Pharma Industry. He
received his MD and PhD degrees, at Semmelweis University
Budapest and University of Pécs, respectively and then as a
researcher worked at the University of Tokyo. Particular areas
of his expertise include all phases of early drug development
from target identification to non-clinical support of clinical
development. He has specialty expertise in electrophysiology,
pain- and migraine research, safety pharmacology, integrated
and balanced evaluation of efficacy, safety and ADME
(absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) data and
preparing relevant sections of regulatory documentation
(Expert Reports, Briefing Documents, Investigator’s Brochures,
etc.). He has provided training and education of doctors and
scientists in pharmaceutical medicine and has received
training in GLP and GCP. He is author of 38 scientific
publications and co-inventor of 22 patent applications
involving 6 drug candidates reaching clinical development. His
current job at Vascular Venture Research Group is scientific
project coordination to assure good science in line with
industrial standards.

Dr. Gábor Rácz

(PhD, Senior Scientist) graduated at Eötvös
University with a Master degree in molecular biology and
immunology. He obtained his PhD at Semmelweis University, his
research interest was cell growth regulation, signal
transduction and epithelial physiology, with results published
in major gastroenterology journals such as Gut. He then
conducted research as a postdoctoral scientist at the
Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR),
National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US. His results
were published in peer-reviewed gene therapy and dental
journals (Journal of Gene Medicine, Oral Diseases). Having
returned to Budapest, he did research on gene therapy and stem
cells, as a Principal Investigator with his own research
grant. In 2014 he moved on to the pharmaceutical industry, he
was a project manager in two respiratory clinical trials and

then a CRA in diabetology and oncology studies. Since 2018 he
has been working at Vascular Venture as a senior molecular and
cell biologist.

Prof. Dr. Daniel Cioca

(MD, PhD, Senior Scientist) completed
medical studies at Timisoara Medical University, in Romania.
He obtained his Ph.D. in Japan, at the Shinshu University
Medical School in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture. His research
interest and area of expertise were immuno-hematology and
immuno-oncology, and he published his results in major peer-
reviewed scientific journals like Leukemia and Cancer
Research. After completing his Ph.D. studies, he moved to
Seattle, United States, and at the Clinical Research Division,
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he continued studying
immunology, especially dendritic cells biology and the T cells
cross-priming improvement strategies. Results were published
in the high impact factor journal, the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences. For one year, he was senior
researcher at the Division of Immunology, Institute of
Biomedical Ageing Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences,
where he was conducting immune-gerontology studies related to
the T cell aging process. Since 2007, he has been professor at
Timisoara Medical University, in Romania, teaching cellular
and molecular biology and acting as director numerous national
and international research projects. In 2018, he joined
Vascular Venture laboratory as a senior research scientist.

Dr. Péter Hornyák

(PhD, scientist) is a molecular biologist.
After graduating from Eötvös Loránd University, he continued
his studies in the UK. He obtained his PhD at the University
of Sussex, and his research mainly focused on the structural
investigation of complexes of protein and small molecule
inhibitors and on mechanistic studies of DNA repair proteins
at the molecular level. His results were published in peer-
reviewed and distinguished journals such as Nature. From 2016,
as a postdoctoral researcher, he worked at Karolinska
Institutet, Sweden, and his major research topic was the
characterization of bacterial toxins. The results of this
study were presented in Nature Communications. In 2018, he
joined Vascular Venture laboratories as a research scientist.

Dr. Zoltán Hujber

(PharmD, PhD) graduated as a pharmacist at
Semmelweis University, Budapest. He holds a Ph.D. in Oncology
at the 1st Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer
Research at Semmelweis University. He conducted research on
cancer cell metabolism and its regulation by different
signalling pathways. His special interest was to study brain
cancer biology and related therapeutic options especially
oncometabolite production and its regulation. His results have
been published in international journals and he has
participated at several international congresses.

Bernadett Hégely

(…)

Patrik Szekér

(MSc, researcher) got his Biochemical
engineering degree at University of Pannonia in 2017. As a
member of the National Scientific Students’ Association he
engaged in the research at the university early on, and gained
a lot of expertise in microbiology and bacteriology and due to
these in genetic engineering and protein engineering as well.
Through his previous research work he designed and produced
recombinant proteins for biosensoric applications. In 2017 he
won the Károly Ereky Prize of the University with his BSc
thesis work written in applied biotechnology.
During his studies he had the chance to spend a month in Japan
at Gifu University, where he had an insight into the research
of building supramolecular hydrogel for controlled drug
release.
In 2019, based on his outstanding performance at his Chemical
engineering MSc final exam, he won the L. T. FAN and EVA FAN
Scholarship which is given to a senior chemical engineer
student by the Dean of the Faculty based on the proposition of
the chairmen of the final examination board

Dr. Emese Nagymáte

(PhD, Head of Quality Assurance, Vascular
Venture Ltd. and Vascular Plazma Ltd.) Previously she held
leader position at several pharmaceutical companies in the
field of quality assurance and quality control (Ubichem Pharma
Manufacturing Ltd, Spectromass Analytical Laboratory Ltd.) She
won a bronze medal in 1995 at the 27th International Chemistry
Olimpiad (IchO) in Bejing, and a silver medal in 1996 in
Moscow. She received her university degree at the Eötvös
Loránd University of Sciences as a chemist. Her main interest
is the process validation, development and validation of
different analytical methods using different techniques and
their usage at different industries. She received her PhD
degree in applied analytical chemistry. She made use of her
analytical chemistry experiences as a head of laboratory in
pharmaceutical quality control laboratories, and later as a
head of quality. She is certified Quality System Manager by
the Hungarian National Committee for European Organization for
Quality.