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BY URVI GALA

Urvi Gala-finalThe first question that comes to your mind is, what does TDDP FG stand for? Well, it’s the Targeted Drug Delivery and Prodrug focus group, which falls under the umbrella of the Physical Pharmacy and Biopharmaceutics section of AAPS. TDDP FG is an 11-year-old group that focuses on the enrichment of research and development efforts, primarily in the fields of targeted drug delivery and prodrugs. The group serves as an interdisciplinary platform, to share learnings and fortify the bond between academic researchers and pharmaceutical biotech companies.

So why is a graduate student–that’s me–writing about TDDP FG? That’s because this group welcomes one and all, be it a revered scientist or a young researcher, an industrial professional or an academic professor, a postdoctoral fellow or a graduate student! Over a year ago, my advisor introduced me to TDDP FG. He told me about the group activities, which kindled my desire to join the group, and from thereon, I didn’t look back.

Being a part of this group has helped me remain abreast of the latest developments in the fields of targeted drug delivery and prodrugs. We have monthly group meetings, wherein we discuss ideas for workshops and seminars, ideas for webinars, and of course current scientific know-how, too. These meetings give me a chance to learn from scientists based in academia and industry. I’ve learned about the process of developing the technical knowledge and discoveries into seminars and workshops and thereby disseminating the information to fellow scientists and community. Also, I get to know about the opportunities available in our field and get opportunities to share my ideas and views in the meeting. It indeed is a positive environment wherein I am encouraged and instructed.

We also have an annual membership meeting held during the AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition. I had the chance to organize and be a part of the 2014 TDDP FG annual membership meeting, where I met with fellow members and several other researchers. The meeting was enriched with scientific and professional discussions that helped me hone my interpersonal skills. I also learned about drug delivery for brain tumors, thanks to a talk delivered by Ramakrishna Samala, Ph.D., of Texas Tech University. Several graduate students and other professionals got a chance to discuss careers in formulation development with experts in a panel discussion set up by TDDP FG.

The list of things I am getting to learn thanks to AAPS and TDDP FG is endless. Being associated with AAPS and being a TDDP-FGite has widened my view of pharmaceutical sciences and has strengthened my resolve to climb up the ladder in this field. So, if you are a graduate student wanting to learn more about the targeted drug delivery and prodrug field or if you need a platform to showcase your ideas, TDDP FG would be the place to be. Think about it, people!

Urvi Gala is a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences at Creighton University in Omaha, NE. Her research focuses on development of solid dispersions and their characterization.