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Annette BakBy Annette Bak

I have been delighted by the opportunity to participate in assembling this year’s AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition program. The highly collaborative process starts over a year beforehand, with a jamboree that includes participation from AAPS sections and focus groups. The jamboree is a brainstorming session that serves to solicit and discuss the most innovative programming from AAPS membership. Following this brainstorming session, in the fall of the year prior to the annual meeting the programming submission will open, where programs discussed at the jamboree and additional suggestions from all the membership are submitted for consideration and prioritization by the Annual Meeting Program Committee (AMPC), which consists of AAPS section chairs-elect and an executive committee. The program is finalized in the spring prior to the Annual Meeting, and subsequently session organizers can start to invite speakers, who then have the summer and fall prior to the Annual Meeting to prepare exciting presentations about their unique topics.

In my mind, we have been very successful in assembling the 2014 Annual Meeting program, and I highly encourage you to check it out. I think this year’s program has the right mix of in-depth science and strategy. It covers cutting-edge pharmaceutical sciences on small molecules such as novel drug delivery including nanotechnology, innovative ADME sessions including PBPK modeling, new formulation development and manufacturing sciences including excipient selection for unique drug molecules and new dosage form strategies. This year’s program also features new science on biologics, including noninjectable delivery, large molecule toxicity, resolution of bioanalytical issues, and sessions on a variety of constructs including peptides and ADCs.  Last but not least, the program will provide insight into clinical strategies such as biomarker development and special populations, and  it will be accompanied by in-depth sessions on regulatory strategies spanning several modulates and including CMC aspects.

What makes me especially excited about the 2014 Annual Meeting program is that it has something for everyone: both discovery and development scientists, in industry, government, and academia. I think that AAPS has therefore aligned this annual meeting well with tendencies in the scientific environment where the scientific space has become more diverse and more collaborative and where barriers between scientific disciplines have disappeared.

In line with a more collaborative environment, the meeting will also feature a series of professional development sessions that cater both to students and scientists at more senior career levels. Sessions such as career planning, interviewing and résumé writing skills, and developing personal branding, networking, and negotiations strategies will be greatly beneficial in the current more active and fluid career environment.

You can read more about the 2014 Annual Meeting and Exposition in the October-November issue of the AAPS Newsmagazine. You can also start planning your meeting schedule on the AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition web and mobile apps.

I would like to thank the 2014 AMPC, the AAPS sections, focus groups, membership, and AAPS staff for their contributions to what I think will be a great and successful annual meeting. Being a member of the AMPC, I have come to realize the many pieces that need to come together over the course of more than a year and the important role that dedicated volunteers and members play in the process.

I look forward to seeing you all in San Diego!

Annette Bak, Ph.D., is the NJ Pharmaceutical Sciences Discovery lead for Merck Research Laboratories. She received her degree in pharmaceutical chemistry from the University of Copenhagen and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Kansas. She is the incoming chair elect of the AAPS AMPC.