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Background and Mission Statement 

MAPS is a constituent chapter of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) that was formed in 1987 by a group of local pharmacologists (Warren Chernick, Jay Roberts, Paul Bianchi, and J. Bryan Smith). Their objective was to provide scientists in our geographical area (New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware) with a forum for meeting on a regular basis to discuss recent advances in pharmacology, related medical disciplines and therapeutics. MAPS has always tried to be a "student-friendly" organization. With this in mind, undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows were encouraged to join at reduced membership rates. The interaction of students and postdoctoral fellows with local industrial and academic scientists was strongly encouraged and, in order to help achieve this, the annual poster competition was instituted. From 1987 to 1997, the society hosted two meetings a year and beginning in 1998 it was decided that the society would host one annual meeting, held in the Fall. 

In 2004, MAPS instituted the practice of inviting undergraduate students to attend the meeting and encouraged them to present posters in the poster competition. Meeting fees for all trainees presenting are substantially reduced from full member fees. The poster competition is a judged event and consists of the following categories: Undergraduate, Graduate Student/Research Associate (for industrial researchers who do not have a doctoral degree) and a Postdoctoral division. The top two winners in each of these categories receive cash prizes and a plaque. Other posters are also permitted to be presented, however may not be eligible for the competition. Abstracts of all posters are published in the ASPET journal The Pharmacologist. Poster presentations do not need to be related to the theme of the meeting and can be on any research topic related to biomedical, biological, or pharmaceutical research. 

Another function of the organization has been to honor the contributions of the renowned local pharmacologist, the late George B. Koelle. Dr. Koelle was first honored in 1991 with an entire meeting devoted to the discussion of topics related to his research. During the years that Dr. Koelle was involved with MAPS, the society selected one speaker to deliver the George B. Koelle Lecture in his honor at the Fall meeting. Dr. Koelle usually presented the speaker with the award plaque and very much enjoyed having this role. With the passing of Dr. Koelle in 1995, the society replaced the lecture with the George B. Koelle award. At each meeting this award is presented to a local scientist who most closely emulates the outstanding qualities exemplified by Dr. Koelle: A profound commitment to teaching, a fondness for encouraging students, excellence in research and a strong devotion to the science of pharmacology. A few of the recent recipients of this award over the last several years include James Barrett, Robert Willette, Scott Waldman, Ellen Walker, Paul McGonigle and, most recently, Julie Blendy.

Officers and Councilors (2023–2025)

  • President – R. Kyle Palmer, PhD | Opertech Bio, Inc., Pennovation Center, 3401 Grays Ferry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19146 | (t) 267-753-4407 | email

  • Vice-President – Linda Console-Bram, PhD | Drexel Univ College of Medicine, Dept. of Pharmacology & Physiology, West Reading Campus at Tower Health, 50 Innovations Way, Wyomissing, PA 19610 | (t) 267-857-6846 | email

  • Past President – Thomas M. Keck, PhD | Depts of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Molecular & Cellular Biosciences, Biological & Biomedical Sciences, Rowan University, SCI 301B, 201 Mullica Hill Rd, Glassboro, NJ 08028 | (t) 856-256‐5422 | email

  • Treasurer – Amanda Fakira, PhD | Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, 401 South Broadway, Camden, NJ 08103 | (t) 856-361-2872 | email

  • Secretary – Catherine C. Moore, PhD | West Center for Computational Chemistry and Drug Design, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, 600 S. 43rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104 | (t) 215-605-3320 | email

  • Councilor – Carol L. Beck, PhD | Dept. of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, Thomas Jefferson Univ., 1020 Locust St., Room M-46 JAH, Philadelphia, PA  19107 | (t) 215-503-6539 | (f) 215-503-3433 | email

  • Councilor – Julie A. Blendy, PhD | Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania Medical School, 2211 Translational Research Laboratories, 125 South 31st Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104| (t) (215) 898-0730| email

  • Councilor – Seena Ajit, PhD | Drexel Univ College of Medicine, Dept. of Pharmacology & Physiology, 245 N. 15th Street, MS 488, Philadelphia, PA 19102| (t) 215-762-2218 | (f) 215-762-2299 | email

  • Councilor – Ellen M. Unterwald, PhD | Center for Substance Abuse Research, Temple Univ. School of Medicine, 3500 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19540 | (t) 215-707-1681 |(f) 215-707-6661 | email

  • Councilor – Bradford D. Fischer, PhD | Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, 401 South Broadway, Camden, NJ 08103 | (t) 856-361-2869 | (f) 856-361-2870 | email

  • Councilor – Sandhya Kortagere, PhD | Drexel University College of Medicine, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, 2900 W. Queen Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19129 | (t) 215-991-8135 | email Dr. Kortagere at

  • Councilor – Saadet Inan, MD PhD | Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, Department of Neural Sciences, Center for Substance Abuse Research, Medical Education and Research Building (MERB), 3500 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140 | (t) 215 707 4110 | email Dr. Inan at

  • Councilor - Charles P. Scott, PhD | Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University, 833 Bluemle Life Sciences Building, 233 South 10th St., Philadelphia, PA 19107 | (t) (215) 503-4569 | email

  • Trainee Councilor - Michael Ippolito, PhD | Center for Substance Abuse Research, Temple Univ. School of Medicine, 3500 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19540 | (t) 215-707-6112 | email

Chapter Annual Meeting

Each meeting consists of talks organized around a topic of current interest in pharmacology and a competitive poster session. A renowned scientist (several of these have been Nobel laureates) is invited to present the Keynote lecture on the major theme of the meeting. After the Keynote presentation, 3 to 5 scientists from our region will give 30-minute presentations on their area of expertise as it relates to the theme of the meeting. Two trainees also are invited to present their research in 10-minute talks as part of the symposium. Time for the audience to ask questions is always provided and discussion is encouraged. The talks are followed by our annual Biotechnology Roundtable, in which the audience engages in lively Q&A with a panel of 3 to 4 scientific representatives from regional biotechnology companies.

The meeting schedule includes time for poster viewing and networking over lunch and at the awards reception. In some years, we have also included workshops about careers in pharmacology for students and postdoctoral researchers.  

The society seeks to maintain a dynamic existence and draws upon its Board of Councilors, as well as members, to suggest new and timely topics for each meeting.

The 2023 Mid-Atlantic Pharmacology Society Annual Meeting will be held Friday, October 20, 2023, at the University of Pennsylvania, Smilow Center for Translational Research in Philadelphia, PA. The theme of this year's meeting will be "The Pharmacology of Mental Health."

MAPS Chapter Past Meetings

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