Focus Groups and Sections

Find your home with AAPS focus groups and sections.

This is an area for you to participate in discussions on your topic of interest and expertise. 

Sections are groups of AAPS members that foster a network around broad areas of disciplines representing the breadth within pharmaceutical sciences. Focus groups unite members with a common interest in a specific discipline. These groups develop learning opportunities and encourage members in specialized fields to participate in open, dynamic communications with colleagues tackling similar challenges and to forge new relationships.

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Take a look at the new discussions happening on the AAPS Communities site, and be part of discussions that cover a wide range of topics for pharmaceutical scientists. 

Focus Groups


Animal Pharmaceutics and Technology

Scientists in the animal health industry or involved in the veterinary pharmaceuticals field, and those who use animal models in the development of human drug products


Chromatographic assays applied to quantitative and qualitative investigations of small and large molecules in biological matrices that support drug discovery and development



Scientific issues relating to the demonstration of bioequivalence and biosimilarity that allow for sound regulatory policy decisions; PK, statistical designs, and metrics for equivalence of different dosage forms

Biomarkers in Translational Medicine

How to translate in vitro and laboratory findings into clinical applications and to facilitate drug development (qualifying and fitness of use)



Biosimilars as a broad topic (bioanalysis, manufacturing, regulatory, trials design, etc.), allowing decisions to be made not just within a sub-specialty group, but to provide feedback/perspectives from all areas involved in the biosimilar pipeline


Cellular and Molecular Toxicology

All aspects of toxicology research relating to drug development and translational medicine


Chemical and Biological API Manufacturing Technology

Small molecule and large biologic issues related to the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API)


Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC)

Technical and regulatory CMC topics associated with the development of pharmaceuticals


CMC Statistics

Utilization of appropriate statistical methodology


Contract Research Organization (CRO)

Issues of interest to CROs, partners, and customers including the industry-sponsored, pre-clinical CMC, as well as clinical research programs globally



Study of skin and associated structures, skin permeation technologies, topical and transdermal product development as well as members involved in cosmeceuticals, regulatory and marketing of these pharmaceutical products


Discovery Modeling and Simulation

Cross-disciplinary view on how modeling is applied in the drug discovery and preclinical space including medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, drug metabolism and PK, and toxicology


Drug Candidate Selection

Assessing developability for compound selection and development, much in line with how it is actually assessed in the pharmaceutical industry


Drug Metabolism and Biologics Disposition

Mechanisms of drug metabolism and biologics disposition in the discovery, development, and regulatory approval of therapeutic agents


Drug Transport

State-of-the-art techniques to study drug transport and to enhance knowledge about the mechanisms of action of drug transporters



Understanding and use of excipients in pharmaceutical formulations including understanding of excipient quality, functionality, drug-excipient interactions and regulatory considerations


Generic Pharmaceuticals

Development and manufacture of generic pharmaceutics


Inhalation and Nasal Technology

Art and science of pharmaceutical inhalation aerosol and nasal drug delivery systems


In Vitro Release and Dissolution Testing

Development of useful and standardized methods to meet the challenges of new dosage forms and to improve or encourage innovation of new methodologies, provide a more in depth understanding of IVIVC


Ligand Binding Assay Bioanalytical

Technologies and issues pertaining to the bioanalysis of analytes by nonchromatographic assays, including binding assays, immunoassays, activity- and cell-based assays


Lipid-Based Drug Delivery Systems

Use of lipid-based systems in drug discovery and product development to effectively overcome physical and biological barriers related to poor aqueous solubility and stability, membrane permeability, drug efflux and bioavailability



Sampling technique that permits collection of molecules in the interstitial fluid of various organs with minimal tissue damage; current applications and future potentials in quantitative drug research and development


Modified Release

Mechanistic understanding, formulation design & development, process development & scale-up, as well as the related regulatory aspects of modified release dosage forms



Control of matter on a scale smaller than 1 micrometer, normally between 1-100 nanometers, as well as the fabrication of drug and gene delivery devices and diagnostics on this same length scale


Non-Clinical Dose Formulation and Analysis

Technical and regulatory topics associated with nonclinical dose formulation analysis; dosing of poorly soluble, poorly permeable drug substances, and analytical challenges


Nutraceutical and Natural Products

Drug discovery and development of nutraceuticals, dietary supplements, and natural products


Ocular Drug Delivery and Disposition

Novel drug delivery system design for ocular applications; emerging trends in ocular pharmacokinetics such as the use of microdialysis technique for aqueous and vitreous humor kinetics; and cellular and molecular basis of ocular drug delivery


Oral Absorption

Human oral absorption (e.g., species differences in permeability, gastrointestinal tract regional differences in permeability, intestinal metabolism, in vitro/in vivo correlations, compound library for oral absorption research)


Patient-Centric Drug Development, Product Design, and Manufacturing

Based on existing or new formulation and drug delivery technologies, along with efficient, highly flexible, and innovative manufacturing technologies and platforms that allow the provision of personalized therapeutics


Pharmaceutical Impurities

Technical and regulatory topics associated with impurities for both small molecule and biologic medicines


Pharmaceuticals in Global Health

Application of pharmaceutical sciences to the solution of global health issues



Amalgamation of imaging and pharmacology that provides additional information that could not otherwise be obtained using traditional techniques and allows for a more precise, faster and direct translation of data from a preclinical to clinical context


Pharmacogenomics (PGx)

Genetic causes of individual variations in drug response; pharmacogenomics more broadly involves genome-wide analysis of the genetic determinants of drug efficacy and toxicity



Quantitative concepts of pharmacometrics in the discovery, development, regulatory approval, and market utilization of therapeutic agents



Characterization of physical and chemical properties of both small and large-molecule drug substances or drug products, and is performed at both the early-stage and mid-stage development in pharmaceutical development and manufacturing


Process Analytical Technology

System for designing, analyzing, and controlling manufacturing processes through timely measurements (i.e., during processing) of critical quality and performance attributes of raw and in-process materials, to ensure final product quality


Process Development

Design, development, analysis, and optimization of technical processes


Process Modeling and Simulation

Application of physics-based engineering and mathematical modeling techniques to better understand, control, develop and improve pharmaceutical manufacturing processes (API and DP)


Protein Aggregation and Biological Consequences

Application of physics-based engineering and mathematical modeling techniques to better understand, control, develop and improve pharmaceutical manufacturing processes (API and DP)


Protein Purification, Storage, and Transportation

Investigating the behaviors of proteins during process, purification, storage, and transportation to develop high-purity biologic drug products


QbD and Product Performance

Quality by Design (QbD) paradigm and biopharmaceutics, and its potential impact on enhancing drug product quality



Stability testing issues and interpretation of new regulatory guidances relating to stability testing of API and finished products


Sterile Products

Science and technology of parenteral products including sterile products that cover a range of therapeutic entities from small molecules to large biologics


Systems Pharmacology

Drug action at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ, organism, and population levels

Targeted Drug Delivery and Prodrug

Site-specifically delivery or activating therapeutic compounds in the site of action


Therapeutic Product Immunogenicity

Interpretation, presentation and clinical application of immunogenicity, and pursue validation of the risk factors and underlying cause-effect relationships affecting the immunogenicity of therapeutic products

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Analysis and Pharmaceutical Quality (APQ)

Analytical techniques, regulatory and compendial issues, and assurance of quality


Biotechnology (BIOTEC)

Research, development, and commercialization of new biotechnology-based pharmaceuticals


Clinical Pharmacology and Translational Research (CPTR)

Therapeutics and clinical assessment of drugs and biologicals

Drug Discovery and Development Interface (DDDI)

Focuses on issues at the critical interface between drug discovery and drug development; discovering, optimizing, and effectively transitioning preclinical candidates into the clinical development phase


Formulation Design and Development (FDD)

Design and development of formulations/drug products for all dosage forms and consider new formulation and dosage form technologies


Manufacturing Science and Engineering (MSE)

Application and advancement of science and technology to the process development and manufacture of pharmaceutical and pharmaceutically-related products 


Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Drug Metabolism (PPDM)

Biopharmaceutics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug metabolism and transport of pharmaceutical products and therapies


Physical Pharmacy and Biopharmaceutics (PPB)

Physicochemical and biological factors that impact the design and delivery of small molecules and biologics 


Regulatory Sciences (RS)

Regulatory compliance, GMP, clinical and pre-clinical practices; the legal aspects of pharmaceutical development; and protection of intellectual property


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