Pharmaceutical Focus Interest Group

About Pharma FIG

The Pharmaceutical Focus Interest Group (PHARMA-FIG) is a community of members in the Microscopy Society of America (MSA) with a common interest around diverse content related to the research, development, manufacture, and use of pharmaceuticals, medical products, and devices. Our goal is to provide a platform for the distribution and discussion of practices and disciplines that can have a tremendous positive impact toward enhancing human health around the globe, with particular emphasis on imaging, microscopy, and micro/nano research. We unite subject matter experts and thought leaders across the pharmaceutical industry, regulatory agencies, and academia.

Objectives & Scope

Scientific presentations will address solutions to the unique problems that arise during drug discovery, development, and commercialization. All modalities are in scope (small molecules, monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, novel agents, etc.). We grapple with issues in method development and optimization, formulation, biocompatibility, commercial production, product life cycle management, and eventual patient use. Addressed aspects include materials and biologics design and properties, physiochemical characterization (actives, excipients, contaminants, polymorphs, particles, etc.), product performance, pharmacology, manufacturing, failure modes, biocompatibility, stability, shelf-life, sterility, etc. Also of interest is an understanding of regulations and data integrity concerns as applied to the pharmaceutical industry. Our activities include the hosting of symposia, congresses, and other important touch points. Vendors and service providers are encouraged to submit abstracts which describe the use of their technologies as they apply to pharmaceutical industry problems.

  • Novel microscopic or spectroscopic methods applied to pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical, and health fields (API, excipient, drug, device, etc.)
  • Root cause analysis of issues related to the manufacturing of drugs, medical products, and devices in both R&D and good manufacturing practice (GMP) settings
  • Utilization of techniques and methods to overcome unique product performance and pharmacology challenges (polymorphs, contaminants, particles, etc.)
  • Regulatory and data integrity compliance of instrumentation and methods in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Investigations and evaluations of testing throughout a product lifecycle (identification, development, testing, supply chain, regulatory, etc.)
  • Device and throughput challenges (failure mode analysis, biocompatibility, sterility, etc.)


The current FIG leader is Daniel Skomski from Merck & Co. Inc.

Become a Member

Annual dues are $15.00 USD and can be paid alongside MSA membership upon joining the society or at time of renewal. See for more information. You may also contact the FIG leader with questions.