Jaap Venema, Ph.D.

Jaap Venema, Ph.D.
Chief Science Officer & EVP | Chair, Council of Experts | Officer, USP Convention

Jaap joined USP in 2015 in the newly created role of Chief Science Officer. He took responsibility for USP’s Science division, which included Documentary Standards Development, Compendial & Volunteer Operations, and the newly launched Research & Innovation department. In 2020, he also assumed oversight of Laboratory & Technical Operations, unifying all scientific functions within USP into a globally integrated division. Jaap is also Chair of the USP Council of Experts and an officer of the USP Convention.

As Chief Science Officer, Jaap leads USP’s scientific strategy and the development of quality standards for small molecules, biologics, dietary supplements, food ingredients, and healthcare practice. He oversees implementation of the Science Quality Framework, which grounds quality standards development in pharmaceutical science. He also guides the exploration of emerging technologies to inform future quality standards.

As Chair of the Council of Experts, Jaap oversees the work of USP’s Expert Committees. The Council of Experts consists of the Expert Committee Chairs and is USP’s highest scientific governance body, responsible for the scientific direction and development of standards. He is also actively involved in scientific collaboration with other standard-setting organizations and pharmacopeias around the world.

Prior to joining USP, Jaap had over 25 years of experience in academic research and global drug discovery and development. After completing his M.A. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the Netherlands and his post-doctoral research in Germany, Jaap held roles in the pharmaceutical industry in Europe and the United States. He worked on all aspects of drug discovery and development, from early target discovery to product and clinical development and medical affairs in diverse therapeutic areas such as neurology, vaccines, immunology, and pain care.

Having worked with a wide range of global stakeholders throughout his career, Jaap has long recognized that an inclusive work environment and diverse teams produce stronger outcomes. At USP, Jaap serves as executive sponsor for affinity groups for women in science and Diverse Minds and Bodies, helping to create opportunities for professional and personal development while advancing USP’s mission and impact.

Career Highlights:

  • AbbVie Inc.: Global Therapeutic Area Head, Biotherapeutics
  • Solvay Pharmaceuticals: Global Project Director, Vaccines
  • European Molecular Biology Laboratory: Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: Fellow of the Netherland Royal Academy of Sciences


  • Vrije Universiteit, M.S., Biochemistry
  • State University, Leiden, Ph.D., Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Awards, Recognition, Admissions: (optional)
  • The Netherlands Genetics Society: Ph.D. Research Award 1991
  • The Netherlands Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: National Research Award 1996

Professional Achievements:

  • Writing and publishing my lab’s most cited publication in a high-impact scientific journal in 1999
  • Overseeing a successful pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine development program in 2009
  • Completing a comprehensive multi-year standards modernization program – Up-to-Date – in 2020
  • Leading a large group of dedicated and committed scientific and professional staff and volunteers
  • Helping one of my former students, who was struggling with mental health problems, find their way back to employment and society 


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