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Pharmaceutical Conference Examines the Globalization of the Industry

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Dedicated to gaining fresh insights on the future of the pharmaceutical industry, more than 100 students, faculty, and leading professionals gathered at St. John’s University this June for the 33rd Annual Conference of the Graduate Research Association of Students in Pharmacy (GRASP).

The three-day event, held at the Queens, NY, campus and hosted by St. John’s student chapter of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS), served as a forum for pharmaceutical science graduate students from 20 schools around the country.

“Science tries to answer complex questions, and those problems require collaborative work to solve,” said Russell DiGate, Ph.D., dean of the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “These meetings are useful for connecting with others who may be collaborators in the future or who can help you in other ways.”

The theme of the conference, “The Future of Pharmaceutical Science: Industrial Shift from the West,” refers to the trend of pharmaceutical companies to move operations outside of the United States to countries like China and India.

According to keynote speaker Abu Serajuddin, Ph.D., professor of industrial pharmacy, “The U.S. will still lead in drug discovery and drug delivery technology,” he said, “but there will be more global efforts.”

“GRASP 2014 gave us the opportunity to bring some of the brightest minds in our field to our University,” said Jun Shao, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences and faculty advisor of the GRASP committee. “It was a wonderful chance for us to introduce our outstanding graduate program to students, faculty, scientists, and government administrators from around the country.”

Doctoral candidate Pulkit Khatri ’11G, ’15Ph.D., who led a 10-student GRASP 2014 organizing committee, saw the conference as a unique opportunity to showcase the University’s capabilities. “We want people to know about our scientific, social, humanitarian, and professional development activities here,” he said. “Our mission is to spur the development of graduate students through learning, networking, and social interaction.”