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BY JOSEPH POLLI

Joseph Polli-finalWhat do the city of Orlando and the pharmaceutical industry have in common? Discovery? Development? Rollercoaster rides? No! While both certainly offer each of these, this year it is the 2015 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition. In October, Orlando will host more than 7,000 pharmaceutical scientists for our annual meeting.The Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC), section leadership, and focus group chairs began planning for this meeting over 15 months ago. We addressed challenges with the annual meeting format, feedback from our membership/exhibitors, and enhancing the programming selections. We pulled down our lap bar, rolled off the launch track, and started the climb up the Lift Hill to start the ride (click, click, click) to the 2015 Annual Meeting and Exposition.

The first task the AMPC tackled was the new meeting format, which is described in the AAPS Blog Achieving Work-Meeting Balance at the AAPS Annual Meeting: Format for This Millennium!” We’ve allotted time between sessions so that attendees can visit the exhibitor floor, interact with poster presenters, listen to different speakers, network with colleagues, and maybe even have a little down time to work on email or have lunch.

The programming roller coaster went into a heartline roll followed by an inline twist as we searched for our keynote and plenary speakers. Fortunately, the ride brought us our keynote speaker Jack Andraka, who was 15 years old when he invented an inexpensive early detection test for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancers. Our plenary speakers include Alana Conner, a cultural scientist who studies, writes about, and consults on culture, psychology, and health; Donald R. Johns who is vice president and head of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis innovation Hub (ALS iHub) at Biogen; and Jennifer Dent, president of BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH). (See Dent’s AAPS blog post here.) The theme for the keynote and plenary sessions is “Global Health – Tackling the Unmet Medical Needs”. Presentations will feature diagnostic and therapeutic progress in severe disease states including pancreatic cancer and ALS, the urgent need for intervention in neglected tropical diseases, and a social sciences perspective on how we better collaborate and innovate to achieve these scientific objectives.

The last part of the AMPC ride was to finalize the 2015 Annual Meeting and Exposition scientific program and maneuver a number of programming interlocking loops and zero-gravity roles. During this phase of planning, the sections reviewed, ranked, and selected programming submitted by the general membership. There is a wide diversity of scientific content covering early discovery, full development, regulatory issues, manufacturing processes, and professional development topics.

Hold onto your Mickey Mouse ears, because the new AAPS Annual Meeting format is here and the AAPS roller coaster is entering the high speed section. For more detailed information on all of the exciting offerings at the 2015 AAPS Annual Meeting please read the October/November AAPS Newsmagazine. I wish you all success at the meeting and hope you like the new format with the increased poster, exhibitor, and networking opportunities. Enjoy the ride at the 2015 Annual Meeting and Exposition in Orlando!

JOSEPH W. POLLI, PH.D., IS THE WORLDWIDE HEAD OF MECHANISM AND EXTRAPOLATIONS TECHNOLOGY SECTION WITHIN DMPK AT GLAXOSMITHKLINE, INC, PROVIDING IN VITRO SUPPORT FOR THE REGISTRATION OF CLINICAL DRUG CANDIDATES, WHICH INCLUDES MECHANISTIC STUDIES ON ABSORPTION, DISTRIBUTION, METABOLISM, ELIMINATION AND DRUG INTERACTIONS. HIS RESEARCH INTERESTS INCLUDE MEMBRANE TRANSPORTERS THAT INFLUENCE DRUG DISPOSITION, APPLICATION OF CLINICAL GENETICS TO DRUG METABOLISM/TRANSPORT, AND PROCESSES TO ENHANCE THE DEVELOPMENT OF DRUG CANDIDATES.