USP Welcomes First Visiting Scientist of 2010

April 8, 2010
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

ePT--the Electronic Newsletter of Pharmaceutical Technology

The US Pharmacopeial Convention welcomed Minghao Zhou of China's Zhejiang Provincial Institute for Food and Drug Control.

Last week, the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) welcomed Minghao Zhou, of China’s Zhejiang Provincial Institute for Food and Drug Control, to its Rockville, Maryland, headquarters. Minghao, who works at the Institute’s Department of Chemical Drugs, was the first scientist to arrive as part of USP’s Visiting Scientist Program, which is intended to promote international scientific exchange and foster the global harmonization of standards for medicines.

Under the Visiting Scientist Program, scientists from international pharmacopeial or official medicines-control laboratories will visit USP headquarters on a rolling basis for three to six months throughout 2010. The initial group is expected to include scientists from Brazil, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand. Each scientist will work on a specific project in standards development, pharmaceutical testing or analysis, dietary supplements, or excipients. The visitors will work in USP departments such as the Analytical Research and Development Laboratory, the Biologics and Biotechnology Laboratory, and the Dosage Form Performance Laboratory.

The exchange program originated in a series of Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) that USP and international standards-setting groups, government agencies, and industry organizations signed in 2008 and 2009. Many of the MOUs mentioned scientific staff exchange as a valuable method of collaboration. Most of the visiting scientists will receive an assignment relevant to their organizations’ individual MOUs with USP. Projects could include the development of standards for traditional Chinese medicines or the translation of the USP–National Formulary.

“As the trend of a global food and drug supply continues to advance rapidly, international cooperation is increasingly becoming an essential element of the work of pharmacopoeias and regulatory agencies,” said Roger L. Williams, chief executive officer of USP, in a press release. “Our collaborative activities are proceeding on a number of fronts, including pilot programs for harmonizing standards, opening international offices, and joint scientific meetings, among many others. The ultimate goal is to provide the best quality medicines and foods for patients and consumers within each nation and worldwide. Staff exchange such as the Visiting Scientist Program is a key approach, and USP is pleased to host these scientists.”

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