Pharmaceutical sciences and the special interest groups (SIGs)

What is a pharmaceutical scientist?

In March 2015, FIP’s Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences adopted the following definition of "pharmaceutical scientist":A pharmaceutical scientist is a qualified expert in aspects of the science and technology of medical products. This includes but is not limited to the discovery, development, manufacture, regulation, and utilisation of medical products - embracing how medicines work, how safe and effective products are brought to the market, their impact on the body and their effect on the prevention and treatment of disease.


FIP special interest groups and who can join them

To advance the pharmaceutical sciences on a global level is one of FIP’s three main strategic objectives. Nine special interest groups (SIGs), led by the Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences (BPS), develop initiatives to help FIP and its member organisations achieve this goal.

All individual FIP members can choose to be a member of a SIG, through which they can interact with peers and colleagues with similar interests from all over the world. Major platforms for these interactions include the annual FIP World Congress and the Pharmaceutical Science World Congresses (PSWC) which take place every three years. (The next PSWC will be held in Montreal, Canada, 22-27 May 2020.)


The special interest groups are:


BPS handles all aspects of FIP’s scientific activities and addresses challenges

Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences mission

The major role of the BPS is to handle all scientific aspects of FIP’s activities. Its mission is to establish and maintain itself as the leading forum for representation of pharmaceutical science throughout the world. The main approaches to accomplish this mission are to:

  • Enhance recognition of the achievements of pharmaceutical scientists
  • Interact with organisations of health care providers to strengthen their scientific base
  • Encourage high quality in the pharmaceutical sciences
  • Assist in advancing the pharmaceutical sciences in developing countries
  • Sponsor international symposia, conferences and training programmes for pharmaceutical scientists
  • Liaise with governmental authorities to establish and to increase financial support or research and development in pharmaceutical sciences
  • Coordinate the advancement for the pharmaceutical sciences worldwide by providing a global network for national and supranational organisations representing pharmaceutical sciences
  • Provide an international platform for interactions among pharmaceutical scientists
  • Contribute to public policy issues related to pharmaceutical research (e.g. gene products and biological drugs; their discovery, development, production, regulation and rational use)
  • Foster the career development of pharmaceutical scientists
  • Identify and nurture emerging areas of science in the pharmaceutical sciences

The BPS is currently developing a new strategic plan.

Challenges and opportunities for pharmaceutical sciences:

The chairs of eight of the SIGs have compiled opinions with regard to major challenges for the pharmaceutical sciences over the next five to 10 years in a paper published in 2015.

Inspiring future pharmaceutical scientists

The ever-pressing need to make medicines even safer while ensuring that development is efficient and cost-effective means that the science of medicines will be as important in the future as it has been over the past 50 years. The BPS has developed a brochure, “Changing the world by translating science into practice — Will YOU be part of the future?”, as a resource to help promote a pharmaceutical sciences career path among undergraduates. It highlights the array of challenges that need to be conquered in the different pharmaceutical science fields in order to improve our health care. A PowerPoint presentation supporting this brochure and promoting the pharmaceutical science career path can be downloaded by FIP members here. If you’re an educator and would like to have some printed copies, email

 Translational Research and Personalised Medicines is one of the future challenges of pharmacy  

Structure of the board

The BPS comprises:

  • Executive Committee 
  • FIP President (ex officio member), Dr Carmen Peña
  • FIP Vice Presidents nominated by the BPS
  • Chairs of FIP’s special interest groups
  • Delegates of FIP’s predominantly scientific member organisations (PSMOs)
  • Expert members
  • Observers
The Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences, January 2018

BPS Executive Committee

  • Chair (2016-2020): Prof. Tatsuro Irimura
  • FIP Scientific Secretary (2015-2019): Prof. Giovanni Pauletti
  • Immediate Past Chair (2016-2020): Prof. Geoff Tucker
  • Elected Member (2016–2020): Prof. Jennifer Dressman
  • Elected Member (2014–2018): Prof. Marilyn Morris
  • FIP Professional Secretary (2013-2017): Ms Ema Paulino
  • and as an ex officio member, FIP (interim) CEO: Ms Ema Paulino

Vice Presidents nominated by the BPS

  • FIP Vice President (2016-2020): Prof. Ross McKinnon
  • FIP Vice President (2016- 2020) : Dr Linda Hakes

SIG chairs

  • Analytical sciences and pharmaceutical quality: Dr Daniel Tang
  • Biotechnology: Dr Binodh DeSilva
  • Drug design and discovery: Prof. Takuya Kumamoto
  • Formulation design and pharmaceutical technology: Prof. Jayne Lawrence
  • Natural products: Prof. Michiho Ito
  • Pharmacy practice research: Prof. Charlie Benrimoj
  • PK/PD and systems pharmacology: Prof. Stephan Schmidt
  • Regulatory sciences: Prof. Jennifer Dressman
  • Translational research and individualized medicines: Prof. Michael Sorich


PSMOs are entitled to be represented by one or several delegates based on their number of members. Delegates are:

  • Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Great Britain (APSGB): Mr Mark McAllister
  • Academy of Pharmaceutical Science and Technology of Japan (APSTJ): Prof. Shinji Yamashita and Prof. Teruko Imai
  • American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS): Prof. Marilyn Morris, Mrs Stacey May and Prof. Christopher McCurdy
  • International Society of Drug Delivery Sciences and Technology (APGI): Dr Elias Fattal
  • Australasian Pharmaceutical Sciences Association (APSA): Dr Stephanie Reuter Lange
  • European Federation of Pharmaceutical Scientists (EUFEPS): Prof. Meindert Danhof
  • Indian Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and Technologists (IAPST): Prof. N. Udupa and Prof. Amal Kumar Bandyophadhyay
  • Iranian Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (IranAPS): Prof. Omid Sabzevari
  • Pharmaceutical Society of China Taiwan (PST): Prof. Jih-Heng Li
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Japan (PSJ): Prof. Takuya Kumamoto, Prof. Masaru Kato and Prof. Satoshi Shuto
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Korea (PSK): Prof. Beom-Jin Lee
  • Spanish Society of Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology (SEFIG): Prof. Francisco Otero Espinar
  • Turkish Pharmaceutical Technology Scientists' Association (TUFTAD): Ms Nevin Celebi

Expert members

In order for the board to implement and achieve the goals defined, expert members are appointed, serving for a specified period. Criteria for selection of expert members are that the individual has an international reputation and recognition in one or more fields of pharmaceutical sciences and that the person is thought to be an opinion leader in his/her field and represents a geographical region of the globe. The current expert members are:

  • Prof. Xiaoliang Wang (China)
  • Prof. Don Mager (USA)
  • Prof. Dhiren R. Thakker (USA)
  • Dr Sabine Kopp (Switzerland, WHO Designated Technical Officer/Observer)


  • European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines and Healthcare (EDQM): Dr Susanne Keitel
  • International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation: Mr Christian Roth
  • Norwegian Pharmaceutical Society (NPS): Ms Britt Wolden
  • United States Pharmacopeia (USP): Dr Anthony Lakavage
  • Young Pharmacists Group: Mr John Ly

Official meetings of the BPS are held during the FIP annual congress and in spring in The Hague, Netherlands. Unofficial meetings are organised on demand, preferably in combination with a PSMO congress.