PBS welcomes Dr. Bruce Roth as Chu Lecturer


Bruce D. Roth, the inventor of Lipitor, a popular cholesterol-lowering medication, was the featured speaker at the UGA College of Pharmacy’s annual Chu Lectureship on Wednesday, March 29. Roth, who is the senior vice president of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Genentech Research and Early Development, presented “The Discovery and Development of Lipitor: Would anyone make this molecule today?” A reception preceded the event.

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Dr. Eileen Kennedy publishes cell activity paper


Dr. Eileen Kennedy recently published a paper in Nature Methods: “Genetically encoded biosensors for visualizing live-cell biochemical activity at super-resolution. Nature Methods, (2017) doi:10.1038/nmeth.4221. Briefly, the article states that compartmentalized biochemical activities are essential to all cellular processes, but there is no generalizable method to visualize dynamic protein activities in living cells at a resolution commensurate with cellular compartmentalization. In the article, the authors introduce a new class of fluorescent biosensors that detect biochemical activities in living cells at a resolution up to threefold better than the diffraction limit. The findings suggest that biochemical activities of the cell are spatially organized into an activity architecture whose structural and functional characteristics can be revealed by these new biosensors.

Dr. Eileen Kennedy publishes kinase signaling paper


Dr. Eileen Kennedy, an assistant professor in the department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, has a new publication, “Targeting kinase signaling pathways with constrained peptide scaffolds.” In this review, she highlights examples of diverse chemistries that are employed to constrain kinase-targeting peptide scaffolds and their application to modulate kinase signaling as well as their potential clinical implications. To read the full article, visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28185915.

Dr. Michael Bartlett and Dr. Mandi Murph publish drug development paper


Dr. Michael Bartlett, PBS professor and director of CoP’s B.S. program, and Dr. Mandi Murph, PBS associate professor, published “The role of fluorinated alcohols as mobile phase modifiers for LC-MS analysis of oligonucleotides.” Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, 28, 190-199 (2017). This is a research paper with collaborators from ProQR in the Netherlands, which explores ways to improve LC-MS based methods for the determination of oligonucleotides by accelerating oligonucleotide therapeutic drug development (ProQR interest) and endogenous microRNA biomarker discovery (Murph interest).

Dr. Dexi Liu awarded research grant from GRA


Dr. Dexi Liu, department head of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, recently received a $25,000 Ventures Award from the Georgia Research Alliance for his project Lynkogen. Dr. Liu was awarded phase 1 funding from the GRA Venture to support his efforts to commercialize the protein drug developed in his laboratory. The funding represents a joint effort with Lynkogen, Inc., a startup company that Dr. Liu helped establish, to develop protein-based pharmaceutics for the treatment of obesity, fatty liver and other metabolic diseases.

Dr. Shelley Hooks awarded NIH grant


Dr. Shelley Hooks, associate professor in the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences department, has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. NIH awarded Dr. Hooks $412,500 to study “Identification of Novel Nuclear RGS10 Binding Partners.” The department and College of Pharmacy congratulates Dr. Hooks on her success!

Dr. Jason Zastre named CoP 2017 Teacher of the Year


Dr. Jason Zastre, associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, was named the UGA College of Pharmacy’s 2017 Teacher of the Year.

Dr. Zastre attributes his success to his “pseudo flip model” of teaching. Last year, he coordinated the revision of one of the college’s graduate courses by facilitating an approach that implements more critical thinking and learning on the students’ part rather than didactically lecturing and expecting them to memorize everything. “We’re engaging students more in their learning, and they’re having to critically think about it and self-direct their learning,” Dr. Zastre said.

Dr. Zastre is in excellent company; other CoP faculty members nominated for the honor were Trisha Branan, Mandi Murph and Singh Rekhi. “There are many great teachers here in our college, and to be recognized as ‘it’ definitely is very humbling,” Dr. Zastre said. “Being selected was surprising considering the field of applicants.”

Dr. Zastre’s teaching philosophy along with his outstanding contributions to the college’s instructional programs allow him to be more than deserving of this award. Congratulations on your accomplishments, Dr. Zastre!

Dr. Scott Pegan gives radio interview


Dr. Scott Pegan, Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, was recently interviewed by April Sorrow, host of WUGA’s “Classic City Science” show for two different segments airing during the month of November. Dr. Pegan addressed “Nerve Gas Therapy” and “Hemorrhagic Fever Therapy”. To hear Dr. Pegan’s interviews, go to WUGA.

Dr. Brian Cummings featured by UGA


Congratulations to Associate Professor Brian Cummings, who is featured in the UGA Focus on Faculty. Dr. Cummings is the director of the university’s Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program and has developed new drug delivery methods that target prostate cancer. Read the full story at the Focus on Faculty website: http://uga.edu/faculty/profile/cummings-brian/