USP Awards Fellowship for Advancement in Pharmaceutical Sciences


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Fellowship granted to University of Maryland doctoral student to focus on performance testing of pharmaceutical dosage forms

Rockville, MD – March 20, 2019 – The U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) has announced the recipient of the first USP Fellowship for Advancement in Pharmaceutical Sciences. The fellowship is designed to help develop the next generation of scientists focusing on medicines quality, while advancing the science of medicine performance testing.

The fellowship has been awarded to Yuwei Lu, a third-year student pursuing a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (UMSOP).  Lu’s research is focused on biologics formulation and process development, under Stephen Hoag, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UMSOP. She has extensive training in excipients screening and process development (e.g. spray drying process optimization). For her fellowship at USP, she proposed an in vitro gut fermentation model to help investigate the in vivo performance of enteric-coated antibody producing Saccharomyces boulardii oral dosage form for the treatment of Clostridium difficile infection.

According to a 2015 study from the New England Journal of Medicine, Clostridium difficile caused almost half a million infections among patients in the U.S. in a single year. An estimated 15,000 deaths are directly attributable to this bacterium, making it a major health threat. Lu’s proposal could result in new testing for probiotics-based products, as well as biotherapeutic products to combat this type of infection.

“It is an honor for the School of Pharmacy to have one of our students receive this fellowship,” said Hoag. “Ms. Lu’s work shows promise and could impact the treatment of infections positively.” 

This fellowship provides a unique opportunity for early career scientists to work closely with experts in pharmaceutical sciences at USP and all over the world, as well as gain insights into USP’s unique and collaborative standards-setting process. 

“With fellowships such as this, we are investing in the future of pharmaceutical sciences,” said Jaap Venema, Ph.D., chief science officer at USP. “We look very seriously at how future developments can influence the way USP develops its quality standards, and as new or improved dosage forms and performance tests are studied and developed, we want to be part of changes from their early discovery into their potential implementation.” 

Lu will receive up to $100,000 to conduct her research at UMSOP, advised by Will Brown, Ph.D., a senior scientific liaison for the General Chapters division at USP. Preliminary results from her research will be made available in 2020.

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About USP
USP is an independent scientific organization that collaborates with the world’s top experts in health and science to develop quality standards for medicines, dietary supplements, and food ingredients. Through our standards, advocacy and education, USP helps increase the availability of quality medicines, supplements and food for billions of people world-wide. For more information about USP, visit

About the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
Founded in 1841, the School of Pharmacy is one of seven professional schools and a graduate school located at the University of Maryland, a thriving center for life sciences research and community service. Through its education, research, and service programs, the school strives to improve the health and well-being of society by aiding in the discovery, development, and use of medicines. Visit: