// October 31, 2014

The Importance of Volunteering

The work of volunteering

By Greg Amidon
Executive Council President-Elect & USP Nominating Committee Member for 2015-2020 Cycle

This Sunday, November 2nd, the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) will begin its annual meeting in San Diego. Attending this year’s meeting will be a special honor for me as it will mark the official start of my three-year term on the AAPS Executive Council as president-elect.

AAPS has always been an integral part of my professional career and development. As the discovery and development of pharmaceutical medicines have transformed—along with the manufacturing and regulatory practices that support our science—so has AAPS.

Another organization that reflects this transformation in pharmaceutical science is the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP). For almost 25 years, I’ve been involved in USP, helping to shape and define standards for medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements that help protect product quality in the United States and around the world.                                                                                                                                    

The Role of the Volunteer

While certain aspects of AAPS and USP overlap, one strong connection they share lies in how the contributions of their volunteers shape the direction of and vision for each organization.

As a volunteer in each organization, I have learned first-hand about the impact that one individual can make in helping to advance an overarching mission.  As a volunteer in both organizations, I’m able to see all the opportunities for leveraging what each organization has to offer; that is, to strengthen—and magnify—the importance of pharmaceutical science and quality.  At the end of the day, both organizations depend on their volunteers to be the voices that champion knowledge, insight and perspectives that help move the discipline of pharmaceutical science forward.

A Call to Action

As a member of the Nominating Committee for USP’s 2015-2020 cycle, I would like to encourage you to consider becoming involved in USP’s standards-setting activities. USP is seeking experts in a variety of areas that intersect with topics of interest to AAPS’ members. These include manufacturing sciences; physical pharmacy and biopharmaceutics, and analytical chemistry; pharmaceutical packaging and storage; peptide and protein chemistry, and cell-/tissue-based therapeutics—just to name a few. A complete list of technical areas for which USP is seeking volunteers is available at USP’s website, and USP staff is ready to answer any questions you might have about volunteering.

If you are interested in becoming more involved at USP, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  We will be happy to help.

Gregory Amidon, Ph.D., is a Research Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Program Director, Pharmaceutical Engineering Program, College of Engineering, at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.  In addition to serving as Chair of USP’s Physical Analysis Expert Committee and Co-Chair of two USP Expert Panels—Excipient Performance and Good Distribution Practices for Bulk Pharmaceutical Excipients—Dr. Amidon is also a member of the USP Council of Experts Executive Committee and its Nominating Committee.  Dr. Amidon is the Executive Council President-Elect of AAPS.