Public Release:  Early-career scientists' research on quality awarded grants by US Standards Organization

USP announces 2012-2013 fellowships

US Pharmacopeia

Rockville, Md., September 27, 2012 ― Since the program's inception more than thirty years ago, USP has invested nearly $4 million in over 200 fellowship awards.

"Advances in science and technology often arise from the work of young researchers attempting to find cutting-edge solutions to problems," said Roger L. Williams, M.D., USP's chief executive officer. "Through our fellowship program, USP seeks to support innovative thinking and approaches to global challenges associated with medicine and food quality. The current awardees demonstrate the exemplary talent, dedication, and insight that will help meet these challenges."

USP is a nonprofit scientific organization that seeks to improve the health of people around the world through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety and benefit of medicines and foods. Each year, USP conducts a competitive process for selecting fellows who are engaged in full-time study in a Ph.D. or Pharm. D. program, medical school or dental school, and whose works are directly relevant to USP's priorities.

For the 2012-2013 academic year, three $50,000 USP Global Fellowship awards have been presented to the following students:

  • Darash Desai, Ph.D. candidate, Boston University, Department of Biomedical Engineering
    Area of Research -- Counterfeit and substandard drug detector for the developing world. Current strategies to accurately screen for counterfeit and substandard medicines often require tests that are technically challenging and costly to employ in resource-limited countries in the developing world. Also, there is no chemical technology currently available that can provide a quantitative and accurate analysis of a drug's active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) content as well as profile its dissolution properties. Mr. Desai's research has helped to develop a screening platform based on a highly quantitative and sensitive microfluidic fluorescence system. This work has the potential to help support the development of an affordable and portable tool capable of determining API content in a drug as well as real-time release of the API from its tablet formulation.

  • Jose Napolitano, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Pharmacy, Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
    Area of Research -- New generation of 1H NMR fingerprints for the rapid analysis of pharmacopeial reference standards. Dr. Napolitano's research involves the development of a method based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis of small organic molecules in a wide variety of materials, including pharmaceuticals, food ingredient, dietary supplement and botanicals. The basis of this approach is the use of 1H NMR spectroscopy and computer-aided spectral analysis to create 1H NMR "fingerprints" of substances of interest. 1H NMR allows for simultaneous evaluation of multiple components and can provide a large amount of structural information at the molecular level, making it a powerful approach for purity and stability studies. 1H NMR fingerprinting has broad potential for single instrument/measurement approaches to chemical identification and quantitation of complex materials such as food ingredients and botanicals.

  • Ting Wang, Ph.D. candidate, University of Maryland at Baltimore, School of Pharmacy
    Area of Research -- Developing the scientific basis for the application of spectroscopic and chemometric methods to excipient identification and adulteration detection. USP is actively engaged in efforts to modernize its standards for small molecule drugs and excipients, in part, by replacing non-specific procedures for identification with more specific methods. Ms. Wang's work focuses on the use of spectroscopy and chemometric methods to characterize excipients. Used as raw materials in many drug products, excipients have a profound influence on their efficacy, stability and manufacturability. Excipient products can also be extremely variable among multiple suppliers, grades and even lots. Ms. Wang's research shows how the combination of spectroscopy and chemometric methods can be used as a rapid technique for identifying and evaluating the physio-chemical properties of these important raw materials in drug products.

Each of the Global Fellows will communicate regularly with a scientific liaison from USP headquarters in Rockville., Md., providing updates on his or her work and the relevance of its progress to USP's priorities. In addition, each fellow will be invited to give a poster presentation at a USP-sponsored meeting or event during the course of the academic year.

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For additional information, please email mediarelations@usp.org.

USP - Advancing Public Health Since 1820

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a scientific, nonprofit, standards-setting organization that advances public health through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods. USP's standards are relied upon and used worldwide. For more information about USP visit http://www.usp.org.

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