UCL School of Pharmacy


Fellowship in Quality of Medical Products at UCL, sponsored by the USP Quality Institute

12 February 2019

UCL is delighted to announce that we have partnered with the USP Quality Institute to offer a two-year fellowship to work on the quality of excipients.

Excipients are essential to the majority of therapeutic and diagnostic medical products. They are intentionally added ingredients that serve many purposes, such as improving the delivery and bioavailability of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API). They are crucial to the successful manufacture, stability and function of a medicine. Most excipients are commodities sold to diverse industries, and only a small fraction of these materials are used in medicines. Because excipient manufacturers do not know necessarily the ultimate fate of their products, they do not always adhere to the same Good Manufacturing Practices required of pharmaceutical, biological, or diagnostic product manufacturers.

The diversity and variability of excipients, the lack of a harmonized global regulatory framework for excipients, and the fragmented supply chain for ingredients used as excipients allows for potential risks to the quality of these materials and the medicines in which they are used.

We are seeking to recruit at least one Fellow to devise and undertake an ambitious 24-month research project to develop our understanding of excipient quality. During this time, the Fellow will receive extensive mentoring from world-leading scientists at the UCL School of Pharmacy and the USP Quality Institute, and will interact with and present their findings to researchers and pharmacy professionals around the world.

This two-year fellowship will be based at the UCL School of Pharmacy and forms part of the USP Quality Institute’s drive to enhance the evidence base for medicines quality. “We are delighted to partner with USP, the world-leading authority on medicines quality, on this important research question, said UCL programme director, Dr Gareth Williams. “The Fellow will provide invaluable understanding into the problem of excipient quality, an area which has received little attention to date.”

Drugs being manufactured

Excipients quality is an important area of research, according to Erin Wilhelm, USP Quality Institute director. “Poor-quality medicines proliferate around the world and cause significant poor-health outcomes and economic costs, yet we have very little understanding how poor-quality excipients may be contributing,” said Wilhelm. Through this fellowship programme, we aim not only to generate new knowledge to support medicines quality, but also to provide opportunities for researchers to enhance their careers and contribute to meaningful public health outcomes.”

For more details of the Fellowship and how to apply, please see the UCL recruitment portal here.

Further information:

USPQI: http://www.usp.org/our-impact/quality-institute
UCL School of Pharmacy: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/pharmacy/
Dr Gareth Williams: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/pharmacy/people/dr-gareth-williams