Dr. Clemmons Receives Prestigious National Honor

Dr. Amber Clemmons

Dr. Amber Clemmons, clinical associate professor in the Department of Clinical and Administrative Sciences, received the New Practitioner Award from the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) at the group’s annual meeting recently held in Anaheim, CA. The award recognizes a HOPA member early in his/her career who has made a significant contribution to developing or supporting clinical hematology and oncology pharmacy services. Dr. Clemmons was nominated by Stephen Clark, a PGY2 Hematology-Oncology resident and an Augusta University Medical Center colleague, who wrote the inscription for the award: “An educational leader and role model who has shaped the career of many outstanding practitioners. Highly sought after by co-workers and patients.” A graduate of the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy, Dr. Clemmons' research interests are in the areas of supportive care, hematologic malignancies, adult bone marrow transplantation, and scholarship of teaching and learning. She was the UGA College of Pharmacy Teacher of the Year in 2016, and is a board-certified oncology pharmacist. Congratulations, Dr. Clemmons, on this honor! [Above right: Dr. Amber Clemmons]

Class of 2018 Pinning Ceremony

Marin Abousaud and family

The 2017 College of Pharmacy Pinning Ceremony was held last week, and 133 students from the Class of 2018 received pins from Dr. Svein Øie. Sponsored by Rite Aid Pharmacy, the event was highlighted by a keynote address delivered by Dr. Michael Azzolin '02, COO of PharmD on Demand. The evening culminated with the presentation of the I.Z. Harris Award to Marin Abousaud, a member of the UGA Honors program, who has served in various leadership capacities at the college, including SNPhA president. Justin Joy served as Master of Ceremonies. Congratulations to the Class of 2018 as they embark on their rotations!

Morgan Gibbs Named 2017 Barry Goldwater Scholar

Morgan Gibbs in the lab with Dr. Audie Roberts

A College of Pharmacy undergraduate student, Morgan Gibbs, has been awarded the 2017 prestigious Barry Goldwater Scholar, the highest undergraduate honor of its kind for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. This is the first time a College of Pharmacy student has received this award. A UGA junior from Peachtree City minoring in pharmaceutical sciences and a student researcher in Dr. Arthur Roberts' lab, Morgan plans to obtain a doctorate in medicinal chemistry and will pursue a career in the interdisciplinary field of drug discovery and design, especially as it relates to chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's. Morgan is one of only 240 students nationwide to receive this honor in 2017 and one of only two from the UGA campus.

Her inspiration for her research is her grandmother. "When I came to UGA, I knew I wanted a career in science, and my grandmother's death gave me a question and a cause: How can we treat Alzheimer's, the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S.?" Gibbs said. "I decided to conduct research that would lead to the development of novel therapeutics for this and other chronic diseases. I think of my grandmother every day that I step into the lab here at the college." Currently, she is studying drug-protein interactions with the multi-drug resistance transporter protein P-glycoprotein in Dr. Roberts’ lab. She was an award-winner in the recent UGA CURO event. This summer, she will participate in the National Institutes of Health's internship program. Last summer, she participated in the pediatric oncology education internship program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. For more of her story, see here. [Above: Morgan Gibbs works in the lab with Dr. Audie Roberts]

Research from Dr. Perri Receives Press Coverage

Dr. Matt Perri

“Do you want your doctor prescribing the best drug or the drug with the best ad agency?” summarizes the research conducted by Dr. Matthew Perri, which was recently published in Health Communication and subsequently released as a news story by UGA. A CAP professor, Dr. Perri researches the impact of advertising prescription drugs directly to consumers. His latest study, conducted with two former graduate students and UGA alumni Nilesh Bhutada and Brent Rollins, examines consumer perceptions toward the use of animated spokes-characters, such as cartoons. For the complete story, see Perri. [Above: Dr. Matthew Perri]

Wolfie Day A Big Success!

CoP was a sea of purple recently, when students, faculty and staff adorned a custom-designed “Wolfie’s Gang” t-shirt to honor Dr. Alan Wolfgang. The assistant dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Wolfgang has announced his retirement, effective June 30. If he wasn’t aware before, he is quickly learning how much he will be missed by students and colleagues! [Below: Students gathering around Dr. Alan Wolfgang; the reverse of the shirt displays a "Wolfie's Gang" design.]

Dr. Wolfgang with students
Dr. Wolfgang with students

Faculty Accolades and Honors

The University of Georgia and the College of Pharmacy recently announced the following promotions for the college: Dr. Brian Cummings, PBS, to professor; Dr. Aaron Beedle, PBS, to associate professor; Dr. Jayani Jayawardhana, CAP, to associate professor; Dr. Eileen Kennedy, PBS, to associate professor; and Dr. Stephanie Phan, CAP, to clinical associate professor. Tenure was approved for Dr. Beedle, Dr. Jayawardhana and Dr. Kennedy. Congratulations!

Dr. Ewan Cobran

Dr. Ewan Cobran, CAP assistant professor, has been named a 2017-19 UGA Lilly Teaching Fellow, awarded by the UGA Center for Teaching and Learning. Considered the “jewel in the crown” of junior faculty development and engagement on campus, the fellowship is awarded based on a passion for teaching and an eagerness to enrich the faculty experience. Dr. Cobran’s research interests are in the areas of health services research, comparative effectiveness, health disparities, cancer screening, prevention, outcomes, fatalism, survivorship, community-based participatory research, patterns of care, nativity and large data analysis. For more information about the Lilly Teaching Fellowship, see Lilly.

In addition, Dr. Cobran has been selected to attend the National Cancer Institute’s Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention program in Rockville, Maryland. His area of focus will be “The Principles and Practice of Cancer Prevention and Control." This is a highlight competitive program, and we congratulate Dr. Cobran on this honor. [Above: Dr. Ewan Cobran]

Dr. Alan Langford

CoP faculty and staff are cordially invited to the retirement reception honoring Dr. Alan Langford, clinical professor, on Friday, April 28, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the Wilson Lobby. Dr. Langford has been with UGA since 1997. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to Kim McKenzie. [Right: Dr. Alan Langford]

Dr. Amber Clemmons, clinical associate professor in the Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, was invited to present an oral continuing education lecture titled “Significant Papers in Hematology” at the 13th Annual Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA) Meeting in Anaheim, CA.

Dr. Chris Bland, clinical associate professor in the Department of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy, recently published a paper: Jones BM, Smith B, Bland CM. Use of Continuous Infusion Ceftolozane-Tazobactam in a Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa Urinary Tract Infection in the Outpatient Setting. Ann Pharmacother. 2017. Doi: 10.1177/1060028017701938.

Students: The Heart of CoP

Jowdy Volunteers Gloria Strait and Ashley Townsend

Students! Want to help with a cause that helps you? The 25th annual Albert W. Jowdy Memorial Golf Classic, benefitting student scholarships, is this Friday, April 21, with a shotgun start at 9:30 a.m. It promises to be a great day on the links! How would you like to be part of the fun? Volunteers are needed to help staff various areas of the tournament, which will be held at the UGA Golf Course. For more info on how you can get involved, contact: Kim Hamby, director of Alumni Affairs, or call 706-542-4536. [Above: Gloria Strait and Ashley Townsend, staffers in the Dean’s Office, were just a few of the volunteers who helped at the 2016 Jowdy Golf Tournament.]

Still trying to decide what classes to take this fall? Consider taking a class from “The Big Guy!” PHRM5210 (CRN 35352)--“Challenging Therapeutic Treatments in Today’s Healthcare System”--is a one-credit-hour course taught by Dean Svein Øie. Students will learn to identify and examine new information, research and trends in therapeutic treatment protocols and determine if changes are warranted in patient care plans. This is a unique class opportunity has only eight spots left! For more info, see here.

The College of Pharmacy was well represented with two teams at the UGA 2017 Relay for Life, a 12-hour fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. Student Oncological Advocates in Pharmacy (SOAP) partnered with the Student Society of Pediatric Advocates (SSPA) to garner more than $1,400 for the cause, while the Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Student Organization and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists collaborated to raise over $400. Total contributions for UGA exceeded $250,000. Many thanks to these groups for their valuable contribution to such a great event! [Below: SOAP and SSPA teamed up to offer “bra pong” to relay participants. PBSO and AAPS raised funds by offering henna tattoos during Relay for Life. Priyanka Kota, PBS master’s student and treasurer for AAPS, creates a design.]

SOAP members at UGA 2017 Relay for Life
Priyanka Kota creates a henna design
Laura Wilt with Mickey Montevideo, College of Pharmacy public relations director

Shout out to Laura Wilt, PBS Ph.D. student, who captured first place and a $250 prize for Best Poster at the Multi-Drug Efflux Systems Gordon Research Seminar, an internationally-renowned conference in Galveston, TX. Her poster describes her efforts to understand the process by which migraine drugs get into the brain. At the conference, the chairs were so impressed with Laura that they elected her co-chair for the Gordon Research Seminar in 2019. In addition, she was invited to help coordinate and setup individual seminars at the conference and was provided an additional $600 to defray the cost of the conference. Laura also was awarded a $1500 travel grant through the UGA graduate school to attend an Experimental Biology conference later this month. Way to go, Laura! [Above: Not only can Laura be found in the lab, but she is president of PBSO and recently participated in Relay for Life, representing the College of Pharmacy, where she is pictured (l) with Mickey Montevideo (r), public relations director.]

Jude Chenge at Southeast Enzyme Conference

Students of Dr. Scott Pegan recently presented posters at the Southeast Enzyme Conference in Atlanta. These students included Octavia Goodwin, Jude Chenge, John Dzimianski and Stephanie Bester. [Right: Jude Chenge (r) explains his poster at the Southeast Enzyme Conference.]

Wael Eldahsan, graduate student in Augusta, won the “Best Research Poster Award” in Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics at the Augusta University Graduate Research Day. The title of his presentation was “Angiotensin Type 2 Receptor Stimulation With Compound 21 Improves Stroke Outcome in Female Rats.”

Congrats to members of the Student Oncological Advocates in Pharmacy (SOAP) who raised $8,418.41 during their recent 5K race benefiting the Winship Cancer Institute! According to Alia Reed, president of SOAP, “This could not have been done without our dedicated 2016-17 executive board and all of our members!

Our Stellar Staff

College of Pharmacy Biggest Losers Contest winners

Congratulations to Renee Dobbs, Student Affairs, who has been crowned The Biggest Loser in the College of Pharmacy’s first-ever Biggest Losers contest! Renee lost a total of 28.2 pounds during the eight-week weight loss program and captured the $150 purse! Many thanks to Donella Moore, Business Affairs, for her leadership during the contest, which was sponsored by the Pharmacy Staff Resource Group, and Elise Martin, Non-Traditional Education and Outreach, who handled the team’s weigh-ins! Great job, everyone! [Above right: Donella Moore (l) with Biggest Loser Renee Dobbs (r)]

Calendar of Events

4/21: 5th Annual Jowdy Golf Tournament, UGA Golf Course
Contact Kim Hamby, director of Alumni Affairs, (706) 542-4536, or follow the Facebook page.

4/27-28: Southeastern Residency Conference--Classic Center
Pharmacy residents and graduate students make formal presentations on projects or research; exchange information and ideas with colleagues; discuss issues confronting institutional practice; and develop intra-professional relationships. See SERC for details.
Contact: Elise Martin

4/27: PBS Research Day--11:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Georgia Center, K/L
Dr. G. Venketeshwaran, ’97, executive director of Biologics for Merck and Dr. Stacy Brown, ’02, associate professor, East Tennessee State University College of Pharmacy, will be the keynote speakers. Awards will be presented.
Contact: Michael Bartlett

4/28: Senior Banquet--6:30-8:30 p.m., Classic Center (invitation required)
Contact: Renee Dobbs

4/29: College of Pharmacy Commencement--2:00-4:00 p.m., UGA Performing Arts Center Limited seating/invitation required
Contact: Renee Dobbs

5/5: BSPS Graduation Ceremony--2:00-4:00 p.m., Pharmacy South, Room 201
Contact: Robyn Malone

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