USP Global Fellowship Awards Winners Announced

ROCKVILLE, Md., Dec. 8, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has announced the recipients of the 2015-2016 Global Fellowship Awards. The recipients include Ph.D. candidates from the University of Washington, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Kentucky Research Foundation. Their research will involve identification and characterization of drugs and excipients by chemical structure elucidation, improving molecular weight analysis of Heparin and improving analytical methods for USP monographs.

"These awards are in my view a good opportunity to encourage young scientists to expand their knowledge and skills in projects that will have immediate applicability and that they can use in their future work," said Ronald T. Piervincenzi, Ph.D. "As a Ph.D. student, I benefitted from opportunities like this, and I am very pleased to see USP offering the same kind of assistance to future researchers as I once had."

Each Ph.D. student will receive a US$30,000 award to conduct research in their universities that supports USP's mission to help ensure the quality, integrity, safety and benefit of medicines and foods, while obtaining further advanced trainings towards their professional careers. The program started in 1981 and has awarded nearly US$ 4 million since its inception. Below is a summary of each award winner:

Kelly M. Hines, Ph.D., senior fellow in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry, University of Washington

Area of research: Ion mobility-mass spectrometry (IM-MS) as an orthogonal technique for the identification and characterization of drugs and excipients by structure

This project aims at implementing IM-MS as a high throughput screening strategy to screen standards of approximately 2,000 drug compounds available from the University of Washington and create a database of measurements for known drugs. The IM-MS-based methodology could serve as a benchmark for dietary supplements and biologics identification and characterization. Dr. Hines' research at University of Washington is led by Dr. Libin Xu and her USP mentor for this project is Shankari Shivaprasad, scientific liaison with USP's Chemical Medicines Department.

Katelyn Arnold, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Area of research: Improving molecular weight analysis of heparin and low molecular weight heparins

Katelyn's research focuses on improving the quality control of heparin drugs and is led by Dr. Jian Lu at University of Carolina at Chapel Hill. Under the mentorship of USP Global Biologics' scientific liaison Anita Szajek, Katelyn's project will utilize novel methods developed at Dr. Liu's glycobiology laboratory to synthetize a set of oligosaccharide reference standards. These reference standards will be used to examine the resolution of the current quality test method to potentially allow for a more stringent quality test and accurate detection of larger heparins that have been related to an increased risk of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, a hazardous side-effect connected to heparins with a larger molecular weight.

Julie L. Calahan, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Pharmaceutical Science at University of Kentucky Research Foundation

Area of research: Improvement of analytical methods for USP monographs

The research is led by Dr. Eric J. Munson at University of Kentucky and mentored at USP by scientific liaisons Hong Wang and Galina Holloway in the Excipients department. Julie will be developing improved analytical methods for USP's excipient monographs, including the nanotechnology derived excipients, excipients prone to adulteration and naturally-derived macromolecular excipients. The research also aims at identifying future analytical techniques that can be used as potential replacements for monographs.
Details about the USP Global Fellowship Program are available at: http://uspgo.to/fellowship-awards.

For media inquiries please email mediarelations@usp.org.


USP – Global Expertise, Trusted Standards, Improved Health

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a global health organization that improves lives through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods. USP's standards are used worldwide. For more information about USP visit http://www.usp.org.

CONTACT: Claudia Costabile 301-816-8314; cac@usp.orgSource: United States Pharmacopeia