Atlanta – Mercer University joined an elite group of east coast universities last summer when it hosted the 24th Annual Meeting of the Graduate Research Association of Students in Pharmacy (GRASP). The meeting, which typically serves as an opportunity to share scientific knowledge and establish industrial contacts, was sponsored by the recently-formed American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Student Chapter at Mercer's Southern School of Pharmacy.
Approximately 60 participants from 13 schools attended the three-day meeting at the Atlanta Marriott Century Center. Attendees heard presentations by Dr. Ajaz Hussain of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Abu T. Serajuddin of Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation, Dr. Bradley Clark of Solvay Pharmaceuticals, and Dr. H.W. "Ted" Matthews of Mercer University's Southern School of Pharmacy. Pharmacy students presented 50 podium and poster sessions in the areas of pharmaceutics, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacognosy and pharmacokinetics.
A new component of this year's GRASP meeting was a career fair. Students had the opportunity to be interviewed by industry representatives from Amgen, Inc.; Elan Drug Delivery, Inc.; Vyteris, Inc.; and Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.
The Southern School of Pharmacy's AAPS Student Chapter – founded with the goal of extending scientific and organizational services in the pharmacy community – organized the meeting as its first official event. Members of the executive committee are Ayyappa Chaturvedula (chair), Dinesh K. Haswani (chair-elect), Aniket V. Badkar (vice chair) and Naveen K. Bejugam (treasurer). Drs. Ajay K. Banga and Martin D'Souza serve as faculty advisers.
The 2004 GRASP meeting was sponsored by AAPS, Altea Therapeutics, Amgen, Inc., Birchpoint Medical, Inc., Elan Drug Delivery, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Mercer University School of Pharmacy, Pfizer Ann Arbor Laboratories, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Vyteris, Inc. and Wyeth Consumer Healthcare.
About the Southern School of Pharmacy:
Mercer University's Southern School of Pharmacy has a century-long tradition of excellence and a national reputation for producing outstanding leaders in the profession of pharmacy. In September 1981, Southern School of Pharmacy became the first pharmacy school in the Southeast and fifth in the nation to offer the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) as its sole professional degree. The School also offers the Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences. Pharmacists from Mercer are currently practicing in 43 states and in several foreign countries.