PBS Undergraduate Research Central


uga college of pharmacy research

Research Opportunities for Undergraduate Students


Working in a lab at the University of Georgia’s Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences offers undergraduates a rigorous interdisciplinary training environment including research opportunities in the areas of Pharmacology, Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, Toxicology, and Biochemistry, with a focus on translational drug discovery.

PBS faculty are actively involved in interdisciplinary biomedical science initiatives that span the University of Georgia research community, including the Center for Drug Discovery, the UGA Cancer Center, and the Neurosciences program.

Below is a list of faculty members and their labs and research focuses:

Dr. Dexi Liu, Department Head and Panoz Professor of Pharmacy

  • Toward prevention of obesity and obesity-associated diabetes and insulin resistance
  • Gene therapy for obesity and obesity-associated metabolic diseases
  • Protein drug discovery for treatment of metabolic diseases and cancer

Visit Dr. Liu’s lab website for more information.

Email: dliu@uga.edu

Dr. Michael Bartlett, Professor and Director of BS Program

  • Determination of thiamin homeostasis by high performance liquid chromatography
  • Determination of pesticides by gas chromatography mass spectrometry

Email: mgbart@uga.edu

Dr. Houjian Cai, Assistant Professor

  • The goal of the Cai lab is to interrogate the molecular mechanisms in facilitation of tumor progression and provide the scientific rationale for using small molecule inhibitors for cancer treatment.

Email: caihj@uga.edu

Dr. Brian Cummings, Associate Professor and Director of Interdisciplinary Toxicology Program

  • Use of lipidomics to identify biomarkers of disease
  • Generation of lipid-based nanoparticles for treatment of prostate cancer

Email: bsc@rx.uga.edu

Dr. Deborah Elder, Clinical Associate Professor

  • Dr. Elder’s current research projects focus on the preparation of extemporaneously prepared sterile and non-sterile pharmaceutical products, beyond-use-dating (expiration) of compounded non-sterile pharmaceuticals, drug formulation for individualized patient care, and the use of technology in teaching and assessing pharmacy skills.

Email: dlstrong@uga.edu

Dr. James Franklin, Associate Professor

  • Mitoquinone mesylate as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Bax, caspases, and the aging brain

Email: jfrankli@rx.uga.edu

Dr. Phillip Greenspan, Associate Professor

  • Health benefits of nutraceuticals and functional foods; these terms can be broadly defined as natural food products that are ingested or incorporated into the diet to help slow the progression of certain disease states

Email: greenspn@uga.edu

Dr. Shelley Hooks, Associate Professor

  • Molecular Mechanisms of Neuroinflammation

Email: shooks@rx.uga.edu

Dr. Eileen Kennedy, Assistant Professor

  • Development of novel chemical biology strategies to synthetically disrupt protein:protein interactions (PPIs) using chemically stabilized peptides

Email: ekennedy@uga.edu

Dr. Cory Momany, Associate Professor

  • Application of atomic structures to biological and pharmaceutical problems
  • Understanding the process of bacterial transcriptional activation at a structural level
  • Development of new means to produce antibodies for use as new therapeutics and crystallization vehicles

Email: cmomany@uga.edu

Dr. Mandi Murph, Associate Professor

  • Murph’s laboratory focuses on therapeutic questions of two diseases, melanoma and serous epithelial ovarian carcinoma

Email: mmurph@uga.edu

Dr. Scott Pegan, Associate Professor

  • Origin of the innate immunity suppression caused by nairovirus’ protease activity
  • Molecular probes for a vOTU from CCHFV using a fluorogenic peptide
  • Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV) and Porcine Delta Coronavirus (PDCoV) Protease Function and Modification to Improve Swine Innate Immunity
  • Role of the viral ovarian domain protease in PRRSV pathogenesis

Email: spegan@uga.edu

Dr. Gurvinder Singh Rekhi, Academic Professional Associate

  • Nanotechnology – absorption of low solubility / permeability drugs
  • Immediate and controlled-release dosage forms
  • Topical and Transdermal Dosage Forms
  • In vitro in vivo correlation (IVIVC)
  • Chemistry Manufacturing Controls (CMC), Technology transfer
  • Regulatory Submissions

Email: gsrekhi@uga.edu

Dr. Arthur Roberts, Assistant Professor

  • Interaction of drugs with multiple-drug resistance transporters and drug-metabolizing UDP-glucuronosyltransferases

Email: audie@uga.edu

Dr. Han-rong Weng, Assistant Professor

  • Synaptic and molecular mechanisms related the pathogenesis of pain, specifically studying the roles of glial glutamate transporters and proinflammatory cytokines in the plasticity of sensory synapses in the spinal dorsal horn.

Email: hrweng@uga.edu

Dr. Catherine White, Associate Professor

  • Influence of gender on the disposition of drugs and drug carriers, and their subsequent therapeutic or toxic outcomes, and the physiological-based pharmacokinetic modeling for utilization in predicting toxicity and exposures.

Email: cwhite44@uga.edu

Dr. May Xiong, Associate Professor

  • Biomaterials-based systems for treatment of cancer and for iron chelation therapy.

Email: mayxiong@uga.edu

Dr. Jason Zastre, Associate Professor

  • Impact of vitamin B1 supplementation on cancer progression

Email: jzastre@uga.edu

Dr. George Zheng, Associate Professor

  • Development of potent and selective epigenetic therapies
  • Design of chemical probes to understand protein acetylation and novel lysine acylation
  • Mechanistic and functional study of protein arginine methylation

Email: jzastre@uga.edu