Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:

Congratulations! If you’re reading this newsletter, you are a part of a new era of branding and communications at the College of Pharmacy and the University of Georgia. For more than 30 years, Sheila Roberson served the public relations and alumni relations efforts of this college well. Her work and dedication are to be commended, as she made an indelible mark on our outreach efforts. We wish Sheila the best in her much deserved retirement.

As the college’s new director of public relations and marketing, I am honored and privileged to work alongside of you to expand and enhance our communication efforts, which coincide with UGA’s new logo and rebranding strategies. This newsletter, which will replace the previous Spotlight and Rx News, will publish the first and third Wednesday of each month and will offer faculty, staff and students the opportunity to learn and share highlights, accomplishments, upcoming events, special programs, photos and more. Submissions for newsletter content and calendar items are due on the Thursdays prior to the publication days and can be forwarded to me.

Put on your creative thinking caps, because our newsletter needs a name! Please submit your ideas to me by Oct. 13. The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate. All faculty, staff and students are eligible.

I look forward to sharing good news from the UGA College of Pharmacy. Feel free to contact me if you have questions, concerns or ideas.

Happy Reading,

Mickey Y. Montevideo, 2-5303

Kudos & Accolades

Congrats to Jessica Hart, CoP’s business manager, who was the recipient of the second quarter STAR Award for the college. Jessica has served in her role since July, 2013, when she transferred from the College of Education. Originally from Madison County, she and her family reside in Danielsville. Said her nominator, “Jessica truly cares about our department, the college and doing a good job.” The STAR Award recognizes pharmacy staff members who demonstrate Service, Teamwork, Attitude and Reliability and is presented quarterly. [Above right: Jessica Hart with Dean Svein Øie]

CoP’s Dr. Deborah Elder recently presided at the UGA Black Faculty and Staff Organization's 14th Annual Founders' Award Scholarship Luncheon. Dr. Elder serves as president of the BFSO, which is a support network for black faculty, staff and students at UGA. With more than 500 in attendance, the event welcomed Shirley Sherrod, executive director for the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education Inc. as its keynote speaker.

Dr. Beth Phillips, the college’s Rite Aid Professor in Community Pharmacy, was named a Fellow of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists at the organizations’ annual meeting in Baltimore this summer. A member of the faculty since 2007, Dr. Phillips is the director of the college’s PGY2 ambulatory care residency program and a preceptor for the PGY1 community practice residency program.

Dr. Houjian Cai and Dr. Mandi Murph have received FY17 AU-UGA Seed Grant funding. This program stimulates new collaborative research projects between Augusta University and UGA that subsequently will lead to new external grants. Dr. Cai’s research will identify “…myristoyl-CoA analogs for targeting myristoylation of Scr kinase and its oncogenic potential,” while Dr. Murph will investigate “novel dicationic diarylfuran compounds for exploitation against immunotherapy-insensitive, BRAF wild-type melanoma."

In the News

Dr. Dexi Liu, UGA’s Panoz Professor of Pharmacy, was featured in Columns, the UGA staff and faculty newsletter, on research he recently published in Scientific Reports. Dr. Liu’s research indicates that switching your diet at regular intervals can help prevent obesity and its associated metabolic disorders. [Left: Dr. Dexi Liu] Read the complete story

An article authored by Dr. Scott Pegan was highlighted as meritorious by the Journal of Virology. Published in the September issue, the article highlights his latest research. Read the abstract

Dr. Y. George Zheng, associate professor, recently was featured in "Focus on Faculty" at Dr. Zheng discussed his interest in developing new drug molecules and therapeutic strategies to fight cancer, along with his teachings in medicinal chemistry principles and tactics to enable new discoveries. Read the story

Students: The Heart of CoP

Here are some interesting facts about this year’s incoming students, aka the Class of 2020. Of the 140 students, 62.1% are female, 40.6% are minorities, 34.8% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, 50% previously attended UGA and 5% are from out-of-state. The average grade point average entering the college was a 3.49, with an average Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) score in the 82nd percentile. [Above right: First-year students participate in the White Coat Ceremony held Aug. 13 at the UGA Performing Arts Center.]

Hats off to one of the college’s newest student groups, CPNP (College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists)! The group is sponsoring a fundraiser that will “top off” your UGA spirit! For just $22 (or $20 for two or more) you can own a UGA College of Pharmacy hat. Proceeds will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Order your cap here. Contact: Stephanie Bayer.

Members of Phi Delta Phi will sponsor “Oh, The Places You’ll Run,” a 5K road race benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 8 am. The starting line will be in Lot S13 behind Stegeman Coliseum. For further information and registration, see Contact:

Serving Our Community

The sounds of laughter can be heard throughout the College of Pharmacy most Tuesdays and Thursdays in October. No, it’s not students reacting to Dr. Seagrave’s latest lab antics--it’s Experience UGA, a partnership with the Clarke County School System that brings every PreK-12th grade child to the UGA campus every year. The CoP’s Office of Continuing Education and Outreach will welcome more than 1,100 first graders this fall, and the young students will be taught safety issues involving medications, animals and plants. [Above: Third-year pharmacy student Janee Jones instructs Experience UGA participants about medicinal herbs in the UGA Trial Gardens.]

New Faculty and Staff

Welcome to the following faculty, staff and postdocs, who have joined the College of Pharmacy since July 1.

Daniel Chastain, CAP (Albany)
Anne Misher, CAP (Savannah)
Sharmon Osae, CAP (Albany)
Rebecca Stone, CAP
Danielle Vitale, Student Affairs
May Xiong, PBS

[Above: UGA X, UGA's current official mascot]

Erik Dennison, Experience Learning
Katherine Hardwick, CAP (Augusta)
Ronald Jones, CAP (Augusta)
Mickey Montevideo, Public Relations

Post Doc
Jude Chenge
Mukund Prathivadibhayanka
Jing Qiao
Arti Verma

Spotlight on PharmDawg Alums

Lance Boles (BSPH ’99, MBA ’03) recently was honored as one of UGA’s "40 Under 40." Hailing from Hartwell, Lance is the owner of two successful pharmacies in North Georgia and South Carolina. He is the president of the Georgia Pharmacy Association and has been a consistent supporter of UGA and the College of Pharmacy since graduation. In addition to being a President's Club member, he established the Lance Boles Academic Support Fund and helps with such events as the College of Pharmacy’s Annual Jowdy Golf Classic and GPhA Alumni Dinner.

College of Pharmacy Alumna Sharon Sherrer (BSPH'79) of Marietta was the recent recipient of the American College of Apothecaries 2015-16 Albert E. Rosica Jr. Memorial Award. The award is presented each year to a pharmacy practitioner for his or her contributions to pharmacy education. With more than 37 years as a practicing pharmacist, Dr. Sherrer has experience in many aspects of the profession, including chain and community, clinical and consulting, and hospital and research. She has served in pharmacy initiatives and organizations locally, statewide and on the national level. Congratulations, Dr. Sherrer!

Gentle Reminders

Lock It Up! Both the R.C. Wilson and Pharmacy South buildings will lock at 6 pm, Monday-Friday, with exceptions for non-pharmacy scheduled programs. This new lock time will enhance security for the college. Everyone associated with the CoP now has card access during evening and weekend hours. Contact: Ken Schroder

In Memoriam

The College of Pharmacy offers its heartfelt condolences to the family of Melanie Burden, who served as Dean Svein Øie's assistant for six years until her retirement in 2012. Melanie lost her battle with cancer recently. Colleagues remember Melanie as a "tremendous individual," "a dedicated and valued employee," "a bright light in the College of Pharmacy," and "a talented, beautiful woman." [Above right: Melanie Burden]

Calendar of Events

10/5: PBS Research Seminar Series-11 am, 201 Pharmacy South
Ronghu Wu, Ph.D., Georgia Tech, will discuss "Systematic and Site-Specific Quantification of Human Cell Surface Glycoproteins." Contact: Joy Wilson.

10/12: PBS Research Seminar Series-11 am, 201 Pharmacy South
Dr. Michael Davies, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will address "The Role of the P13K-AKT Pathway in Brain Metastasis and Therapeutic Resistance in Melanoma." Contact: Joy Wilson.

10/12: Dawgtoberfest–12-3 pm, D.W. Brooks Mall, adjacent to Science Learning Center
Come one, come all to the College of Pharmacy’s Dawgtoberfest Carnival! An annual event, Dawgtoberfest will feature free health screenings, flu shots and food with a carnival theme. If you’re receiving a flu shot, bring your insurance card or $45. Contact: Stephen McCall or Pearl Kang

10/15: Homecoming Tailgate & Class Reunions–-FOOTBALL TICKETS AVAILABLE--9:00 a.m., CoP Rite Aid Courtyard
Students, Faculty and Staff are invited (at no charge) to the 2016 Homecoming Tailgate and Class Reunions (2011, 2006, 2001, 1996 and 1991). Festivities will include lunch, live music and outdoor games. Football tickets are available. Register online Contact: Kim Hamby