Meet Dr. Monica Vialpando
I am a pharmaceutical development scientist and principal at Vialpando LLC, a provider of innovation consulting for the cannabis industry. In addition to earning my Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Leuven, Belgium, I bring seven years of pharmaceutical industry experience, four years of vaping (nicotine) experience, and two years of cannabis product development experience. I have helped a variety of US, UK, European, and Asia-based companies develop both strategy and products in a rapidly changing market. My development portfolio includes immediate and modified release oral tablets, sublingual tablets, dry powders and nebulized solutions for inhalation, nicotine and cannabis vape products and topicals. I also conduct independent research on formulation of skin care products using unique, all-natural ingredients. My work goes beyond being a scientist and inventor - I am a connector of people. My passion is working closely with my clients to make their ideas real and taking their products to market.
I am a member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association and serve on the scientific advisory board of each of the following companies:
I am a visiting professor for the following universities:
I am also a certified yoga teacher.
Meet Vikash Singh
I first cut my teeth in the cannabis industry in Humboldt County back in 2003 where I was lucky enough to absorb cultivation techniques from many of Northern California’s original and legacy growers. Since then I’ve gathered experience in building and operating various types of cannabis businesses including large-scale cultivation facilities, retail, and consulting services. In addition, I’ve also worked at fortune 500 companies and start ups alike in executive sales, business development, and marketing capacities. I’ve lead both small and large teams, and have sharpened my skills in expanding revenue channels, operational efficiency, and managing strategic growth. At treehugger.com I was instrumental in securing vital and large client relationships that resulted in 275% growth of revenue and assisted in taking the #1 environmental blog to acquisition by Discovery Communications for 15 million in 2008. In my last role, I was hired by the CEO as the Director of Client Relations at one of America’s most respected cannabis consulting firms – Green Rush Consulting.
Meet Peter Beckett
I earned my degree in political science and French longer ago than I care to admit, and have built a career managing and mitigating political, regulatory and reputational risk. I run a successful consulting operation that works with nicotine companies and I help Vialpando LLC manage its international business.
I live in London and operate primarily in the European Union, advocating for the interests of organisations interested in reducing the harm from tobacco and cannabis. We've made good progress so far - there are medical markets in five European countries and the UK looks like it is about to follow. But Europe has its challenges when it comes to regulation, and I use my skills to help Vialpando LLC clients gain access to these infant but rapidly growing markets.
Meet Dr. Dan Miller
I am a materials scientist with a broad background in physical characterization of solid-state dosage forms. I’ve worked in several functional areas related to formulation, characterization, and development of engineered powders for inhalation. I have also led multi-disciplinary teams that conduct early-phase preclinical and clinical development, serving as a subject matter expert on multiple inhaled drug product approvals over the last 20 years. On the research side, I’ve worked to advance particle engineering technologies in the area of dry powder aerosol formulations of small molecules and biologics. I also maintain inventorship on eight US patents and I’ve authored more than 25 publications. I earned my Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Meet Carolyn Burek, M.S. Biochemist
I grew up in Colorado and attended college at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, where I earned my B.S. and M.S. in Biochemistry, and a minor in Chemistry. My degree required extensive study in the fields of Structural Biology, Organic Chemistry, Cell Biology, and Microbiology. I became heavily involved in academic research, where I learned biological and chemical techniques and the importance of scientific discovery. My research was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry in 2012.
Following graduation, I worked as a Molecular Biologist and Biochemist in the field of biofuel technology. I worked on a team charged with the task to design genetic modifications in yeast (S. cerevisiae) to produce isobutanol as a by-product of fermentation. As a Biochemist, I performed protein quantitation and enzyme assays to analyze the gene expression and activity of proteins in the metabolic pathway to produce isobutanol. Research with yeast gave me valuable knowledge in the area of microbiology, as well as highly sought-after techniques to produce results in fast-paced industry settings. Following biofuels research, I worked as a Professional Research Assistant, and in the field of Developmental Biology using mice (M. Musculus) and fruit flies (D. Melanogastor) as model organisms.
In 2016, I was offered an opportunity to apply my knowledge and research expertise in the cannabis industry. I helped open a Denver-based Marijuana Infused Products (MIP) facility for the production of cannabis oil using supercritical CO2 extraction. I designed the facility for safe and efficient production of cannabis oil and laid the groundwork for all production standard operating procedures. I managed laboratory personnel, organized and tracked all products, created all compliance procedures for safety and marijuana regulation, and continued to research and develop products to improve safety, efficacy, and flavor.
In 2017, I started my own company, Metta Research and Design, to help other companies entering the cannabis industry with facility design, equipment procurement, laboratory safety and quality control standards, and product formulations. In addition to this, I worked with Point Seven Group on competitive applications for licensure in both medical and recreational markets in the US and scored highly. My technical writing was focused on the scientific aspects of extraction, processing, manufacturing, product design, equipment, and facility design. I have also worked with companies in developing standard operating procedures for extraction and processing operations, with a high level of detail and a strong focus on safety and employee training. Since starting my company, I have worked in over ten states and in Canada.
In 2018, I began working with Vialpando on product formulation research and development, including high-level research on the safety of various ingredients and excipients. Since joining Vialpando, I have been instrumental in providing my biochemistry, chemistry, and cannabis expertise to help with product design and planning, and effective communication and organization of product formulation projects with companies.