// July 27, 2016

Visiting Scientist Program — Researching Pancreatic Enzymes


I first learned about USP when I was a graduate student at Sofia University in Bulgaria. I was taking a course in pharmaceutical chemistry, training to synthesize a known biologically-active compound and to confirm its structure and purity by comparing our analysis data with those published in the corresponding USP monograph.

Since then, I have come to know USP as a leading global scientific organization recognized for providing scientists, industry, and governmental agencies with quality standards for medicines and foods—standards and procedures I continue to use as a senior researcher. So when I learned there was an available position as a USP visiting scientist in a topic closely related to my expertise, I didn’t have any doubts about applying for it.

The Visiting Scientist Program enabled me to work on a project entitled “Activity of pancreatin in presence of surface active compounds,” under the supervision of Dr. Erika Stippler, Director of the Dosage Form Performance Laboratory at USP.

The goal of the project was to evaluate the effect of four commonly used dissolution testing surfactants on the activity of pancreatic proteases. The study can contribute to optimization of the dissolution procedures of gelatin cross-linked capsules when the use of both surfactants and enzymes is required. The study provides a basis for modernization of the current procedure for analysis of gel capsules.

During my 12-week program at USP, I had the opportunity to participate in many training sessions and seminars. I felt inspired every time I joined meetings or listened to lectures by recognized professionals in management, the pharmaceutical industry, and science. I became closely acquainted with many USP departmental activities and came away with an in-depth understanding of USP’s significant role in protecting global public health.

I also enjoyed the social interactions and events at USP. I had the chance to meet people from all over the world, to be exposed to various cultures, and to work and live among friends. It was an unforgettable personal and professional experience.

Dr. Maya Guncheva is a widely published senior researcher at the Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Her work focuses on elucidation of the structure and function of newly isolated proteins and enzymes, implementing strategies to enhance activity, and investigating novel potential biocatalysts applications.