Jason Zastre Named CoP's 2017 Teacher of the Year

Jason Zastre

Congratulations to Jason Zastre, the College of Pharmacy’s 2017 Teacher of the Year! Dr. Zastre, an associate professor in the department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, joined the College of Pharmacy’s team in 2007. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Pharmacy from the University of Manitoba in 1994 and 1998. He later earned his doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of British Columbia in 2004. His research is centered around the impact of vitamin B1 supplementation on cancer progression. Dr. Zastre has published work on this topic in seven scholarly articles and has made many contributions to the CoP’s instructional programs.

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! [Above: Jason Zastre]

Meet Preston Townsend, CoP's Newest PharmDawg

Congratulations to Ashley Townsend, CoP administrative manager in the Dean’s Office, and her husband, Nathan, who are the proud parents of Preston Byer Townsend! Preston arrived on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 12:57 a.m. The college’s newest PharmDawg weighed 8 pounds and was 21 inches long. According to mommy, Preston is eating well but could do a better job of sleeping!
[Below: Left--Preston strikes a pose with his mommy and daddy; right--Preston chills in his swing.]

Preston Townsend

2017 Chu Lectureship Welcomes Inventor of Lipitor

Bruce D. Roth

Bruce D. Roth, the inventor of Lipitor, a popular cholesterol-lowering medication, will be the featured speaker at the UGA College of Pharmacy’s annual Chu Lectureship on Wednesday, March 29 at 11:00 a.m. in the college’s Pharmacy South Auditorium. Roth, who is the senior vice president of Small Molecule Drug Discovery at Genentech Research and Early Development, will present “The Discovery and Development of Lipitor: Would anyone make this molecule today?” A reception will precede the event at 10:30 a.m., and everyone is invited.

In 1986, at the age of 32, Roth discovered atorvastatin, the statin-class drug sold as Lipitor, which became the largest-selling drug in pharmaceutical history at that time. For his invention, Roth received multiple awards. He earned his bachelor's in chemistry from St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia in 1976 and his doctorate in synthetic organic chemistry from Iowa State University in 1980. He then served as a postdoctoral fellow from 1981-82 at the University of Rochester.

The Chu Lectureship is hosted by the College of Pharmacy’s department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences and was established to bring internationally recognized leaders in drug discovery to UGA. It honors the outstanding accomplishments and contributions of David C.K. Chu, a distinguished research professor emeritus in the College of Pharmacy. Chu has many major achievements in drug discovery, with more than 20 honors and awards for his work, has published over 300 drug discovery-related scholarly articles and owns more than 50 U.S. patents. For more information, contact Michael Bartlett. [Above: Bruce D. Roth]

2016 College of Pharmacy Employee of the Year Nominations

Nominations for the 2016 College of Pharmacy Employee of the Year are now being accepted. The award recognizes a staff member who has made outstanding contributions to the college, and supported student, faculty and co-workers during the past year. The recipient will receive a $1,000 award, a personalized plaque and their name added to the permanent plaque in the lobby of the college. See the memo sent by Dean Svein Øie and the guidelines and nomination form. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 31 by 5 p.m. For questions, contact Toni Phelabaum.

Managed Care Pharmacy to Hold Symposia

The Georgia Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy will sponsor its Winter Symposia Saturday, March 4 in Atlanta. The event will feature four presentations, exhibits and lunch. Students, faculty and staff are invited to register. For more details, see here.

Volunteer Pharmacists Needed for Mock Networking

The UGA College of Pharmacy is seeking pharmacist volunteers to assist in a Mock Networking Event for our first-year Career Opportunities and Development course. As a required course activity, this event allows students to practice professional networking skills which have been taught as a part of this course. Volunteers will pose as mock attendees at a simulated professional event, briefly interact with students and assist course coordinators in providing student feedback. This event will take place at the College of Pharmacy in Athens on April 5 from 1:45-3 p.m. For questions or to volunteer, contact Dr. Lindsey Welch.

The 2017 Mental Health Symposium Deemed a Success

The annual Mental Health Symposium, held February 7-8 at the Holiday Inn Express in Athens, was a great success, with more than 70 health professionals from the state and southeast in attendance. Hosted by the College of Pharmacy’s Office of Continuing Professional Development and Outreach, the educational event welcomed pharmacists, physicians and psychologists who earned up to 15 hours of continuing education credit. Pharmacists and physicians presented a variety of thought-provoking topics, including pharmacotherapy in psychiatric disorders, delirium tremens prevention, bipolar disorder treatment, the opioid crisis, medication adherence and reconciliation, pharmacists as providers and persistent symptoms of psychosis. The 2018 Mental Health Symposium will be held February 6-7, 2018 in Athens.

Faculty Accolades and Honors

Shelley Hooks

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 college congratulates Dr. Hooks on her success. [Right: Dr. Shelley Hooks ]

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. 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. Dave Mullis, associate professor at CoP in Gwinnett, is one of the banner features on the UGA online learning website. He is quoted on the site, “My work with regulatory agencies has provided me with expertise in regard to what is required of a product in order to receive approval for use. The medical and pharmacological industries are complex, yet navigable with experience and understanding." See his feature here.

Dr. Chris Bland, a clinical associate professor in Savannah, has been quite busy lately! Dr. Bland published “Penicillin skin testing as an antimicrobial stewardship initiative” and made a presentation on the subject with Dr. Bruce Jones during UGA Grand Rounds. Dr. Bland also was named associate editor of the Naplex 3rd edition Review Guide by McGraw-Hill Education. The NAPLEX Review Guide remains one of the top 5 accessed items on McGraw-Hill’s educational website “AccessPharmacy.” To read his full article visit: http://www.ajhp.org/content/74/4/232.

Dr. Brian Seagraves

Dr. Brian Seagraves, an academic professional associate with Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, was named to the advisory board for the NAPLEX Easy platform by McGraw-Hill Education. This platform prepares exam takers through personalized, adaptive learning technology to create customized study plans for individual learner needs. [Right: Dr. Brian Seagraves]

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.

Students: The Heart of CoP

SNPhA will host a Women’s History Month Panel on Tuesday, March 14 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Pharmacy South 101. The event will feature a panel of female guest speakers who will share their experience as researchers and faculty in a predominantly male field. Everyone is welcome to attend!

Nominations for the 2017 Lead Dawg Awards, which recognize students who are leaders in the College of Pharmacy, the community and the profession are due this Friday, March 3. The award consists of travel funds for recipients to attend a professional meeting in the 2017-18 academic year, along with a certificate. It is anticipated that four students will be recognized as Lead Dawgs this year. Nominations can be sent to Dr. Alan Wolfgang (if sent via e-mail, please put “Lead Dawg nomination” in the subject line).

SNPhA is partnering with Barney’s Pharmacy in Augusta to host weekly “Wellness Wednesdays" in order to reach more people in the community for hypertension and diabetes education and screenings. The first of these events at this independent pharmacy was held Feb. 15 will continue through the spring. [Below: Members of SNPhA at Barney's]

CPNP scrubs

CPNP is selling black and gray scrubs with the new UGA College of Pharmacy logo embroidered onto the left chest pocket in men’s, women’s and unisex sizes for $35 a pair. Please use the google form to submit your order, and submit a form for each pair ordered. A size chart is available on the order form; however, if you would like to assure the correct size, you may try on scrubs this Thursday, March 2 during org hour. The deadline is this Friday, March 3. Questions? Contact Rachel Giles, Katie Morgan or Macey Walker. [Right: CPNP scrubs]

LKS Pullover

LKS Annual Quarter-Zip Pullover Sale is going on now! Featuring the new UGA College of Pharmacy logo, the red or black pullovers are available for $32 and come in small, medium, large, X-Large, XX-Large and XXX-Large. (There is an increased price of $34.50 for XX-Large and XXX-Large pullovers.) Please complete the online Google order form HERE. The deadline for orders is Sunday, March 5 by midnight. For questions, contact Alessia Jankowski. [Right: LKS Pullover]

Scott Brunner

APhA-ASP welcomed former Executive Vice President and CEO of the Georgia Pharmacy Association Scott Brunner at a recent meeting. Bruner helped prepare the group for the subsequent Day at the Dome event, which was held in early February. (with photo) [Right: Scott Brunner]

CoP students Arthur Legacki, Darshan Patel and Stephen McCall founded Today in Pharma, a resource of updated pharmacy articles that can be accessed by students and other interested readers. This Google doc has links of current information that will allow students and others stay up-to-date with research and activities happening in the pharmacy profession. Everyone is invited to contribute to the Google doc; email uga.pharma.articles@gmail.com to have your link posted.

Our Stellar Staff

Renee Dobbs

Who will be CoP’s Biggest Loser in 2017? In an effort to promote health and wellness at the college, the Pharmacy Staff Resources Group (PSRG) is sponsoring a Biggest Loser contest this spring. After the first week, the 19 faculty and staff members participating in the contest lost a grand total of 38.9 pounds, which is the average weight of a four-year-old! Congratulations to Renee Dobbs, student affairs, who was this week’s biggest loser, with a 6.8-pound weight loss! The contest will end April 17. Each participant has paid $8 to participate, and the final Biggest Loser at the end of the contest will reap the benefits of the pot--$152! [Right: Renee Dobbs, this week's Biggest Loser, and Elise Martin, Biggest Lower Weigh-in Coordinator]

Pharm Dawg Alum News

Congratulations to PharmDawg-owned IHS Pharmacy & Gifts for being recognized as the 2016 Business of the Year by the Metter-Candler Chamber of Commerce! We are proud of our alumni Dean Stone '93 and Krista DeLoach Stone '95 for their success and active support of their community. [Below: Krista DeLoach Stone and Dean Stone, far right, receive Metter's Business of the Year Award]

Metter Alums

Calendar of Events


[Above: The College of Pharmacy in Augusta is in full bloom! Many thanks for Kathi Hardwick for sharing these beautiful photographs.]

3/4-12: SPRING '17 BREAK
Safe Travels!

3/6-9: International Good Manufacturing Practices Conference--Georgia Center
This conference is widely recognized as the top international GMP meeting in the world and offers attendees the unique opportunity to meet with U.S. FDA, other global regulators and industry experts on important issues in drug compliance and quality. For further details and registration information, see GMP Conference or contact Dr. Michael Bartlett.

3/12: Daylight Savings Time Begins!

3/12: PBS Research Seminar--11 am, PS 101*
Dr. Stephen Frye, Fred Eshelman Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy, UNC-Chapel Hill

Looking Ahead...

4/21: 5th Annual Jowdy Golf Tournament, UGA Golf Course
Save the date and start assembling your foursome for the silver anniversary of the Albert W. Jowdy Memorial Golf Classic, Friday, April 21, with a shotgun start at 9:30 am at the UGA Golf Course. With the G-Day game scheduled for the following day, it will be a fun weekend to be in Athens. Registration now available at https://gail.uga.edu/events/phar/jowdy-golf-classic-2017. You can also download the brochure here. Contact Kim Hamby, director of Alumni Affairs, (706) 542-4536, or follow the Facebook page.

*For a list of all PBS Seminars this semester, see here.

Check out UGA events at http://calendar.uga.edu