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By Walter T. Marlowe

Walt MarloweGreetings, fellow 2015 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition attendees, and welcome to sunny Orlando!

From October 25 to 29, the Orange County Convention Center will host more than 7,000 scientists, business leaders, government officials, and students from around the world to share and learn about the latest scientific advances and industry developments. The five-day event will focus around several key themes, including: Big Data; Drug Delivery Technologies; Impurities; Microdialysis, Imaging, Target Site; Modeling; Regulatory Challenges Affecting Global Community; and Transporters.

The meeting features over 100 programming sessions, including more than 80 symposia and roundtables, as well as 450 exhibitors.

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The 2015 Annual Meeting and Exposition will open with keynote speaker Jack Andraka, who as a high school sophomore invented an inexpensive early detection test for pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancers. Andraka’s groundbreaking results have earned him international recognition, most notably a 2014 Jefferson Award, the nation’s most prestigious public service award.

This year’s program also features presentations by a wide range of plenary speakers. This session, moderated by Joe Polli, Ph.D., will explore unmet medical needs:

  • Jennifer Dent is the president of BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH). She brings more than 20 years of broad-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience to her role at BVGH, including negotiation and structuring of deals and management of global discovery and commercial alliances. She started her career as a sales representative in Canada working in a variety of positions for Parke Davis/Pfizer and Genentech. Dent cofounded Sound Biotechnology, and prior to that, served as vice president, business development, marketing, and sales at CombiMatrix Corporation.
  • Alana Conner, Ph.D., is a cultural scientist who studies, writes about, and consults on culture, psychology, and health. She is currently the executive director of Stanford SPARQ: Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions, where she helps create and share evidence-based solutions to social problems. She also collaborates with clients like The World Bank, Kaiser Permanente, and the Stanford School of Medicine to design interventions that enhance the wellbeing of diverse people around the world. Her writings have appeared in many outlets, including The New York Times, The Huffington Post, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, where she served as senior editor for five years.
  • Donald R. Johns, M.D., is vice president and head of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis innovation Hub (ALS iHub) in the Development Sciences organization at Biogen. The ALS iHub team works with both internal and external collaborators to catalyze innovative and effective drug development to transform the lives of ALS patients. He is a board-certified neurologist and scientific leader with more than 25 years of experience with rare and orphan diseases. He was on the neurology faculty at Johns Hopkins University Medical School and at Harvard Medical School. His scientific work focused on mitochondrial dysfunction and human disease.

I invite you to follow the AAPS Blog for updates about all of the exciting research and events surrounding the 2015 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition, and sign on to our Facebook and Twitter accounts for live posts, pictures, and more, with the hashtag #AAPS2015! And don’t forget the AAPS Annual Meeting app for up to the minute session information.

So ”Welcome to Orlando”—and bring your sunscreen!

Walter T. Marlowe, M.B.A., C.A.E, is the AAPS executive director.