The following UGA College of Pharmacy faculty members have expertise in the current COVID-19 environment and/or are conducting research in this arena:
Christopher M. Bland, Pharm.D., FCCP, FIDSA, BCPS
Clinical Associate Professor in the UGA College of Pharmacy at the extended campus in Savannah; Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist; Clinical Infectious Diseases Specialist working with clinicians to help determine best practices regarding medication management related to COVID-19. Also, educating the public regarding appropriate medication management related to COVID-19. Dr. Bland has been interviewed by a number of news sources, including Fox 5 Atlanta, WSB Atlanta, 11 Alive Atlanta news, and WMAZ, on the risks of unproven drug combinations and keeping patients safe in this COVID-19 environment. See a sample interview here.
Tim R. Brown, PharmD, BCACP, FASHP
Director of Interprofessional Education at UGA College of Pharmacy; Board Certified in Ambulatory care and an expert in the areas of primary care, family medicine, pharmacy practice in the hospital-healthcare setting, and community-based outreach. Also, a Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership. Host of PharmCast, the College’s podcast program that has heavily spotlighted the coronavirus; works with media, including Atlanta radio personality, to educate the public on status of treatments and vaccines.
C.K. “David” Chu, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus
Pioneer in Drug Discovery, especially in the development of nucleotide analogues for use as antivirals. Has antivirals on the market.
David Crich, DèsSc, Georgia Research Alliance Professor and David Chu Eminent Scholar in Drug Design
Dr. Crich and his colleagues in College of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences and at the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center at UGA are focused on bringing the power of modern organic chemistry to the overlapping fields of medicinal chemistry, drug design, and glycochemistry. The Crich Lab has been collaborating with the College’s (Dr. Scott) Pegan and (Dr. Brian) Cummings Labs, along with the (Dr. Ralph) Tripp Lab in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine on developing inhibitors of an essential enzyme in the COVID-19 life cycle, with a view to blocking its replication.
Grace Gowda, M.Pharm., Ph.D., RAC
Director of International Biomedical Regulatory Sciences Program in the UGA College of Pharmacy at the extended campus in Gwinnett. Areas of expertise are in product, drug and vaccine development; regulatory policy regarding the drug and vaccine approval and delivery processes; and research in the field of neuroscience and mental health. Dr. Gowda was interviewed on WUGA-Radio about vaccine development. Hear the interview here.
Scott Pegan, Ph.D.
Director of UGA Center for Drug Development, Professor and Interim Associate Head, Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences; expert in small molecule anti-viral and vaccine development for coronaviruses, nairoviruses and arteriviruses. Specifically, COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, CCHFV, PEDV and PRRSV, and structure-based drug design approaches that target viral mechanisms which allow viruses to evade human immune responses. Also, an expert in nerve agent countermeasures. Dr. Pegan was interviewed on WUGA-Radio about vaccine development. Hear the interview here.
Eva-Maria Strauch, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in UGA College of Pharmacy. Pioneering next-generation protein-based therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccine candidates using and developing high throughput screening methods and computational structural design. Her group is part of the UGA Collaborative Influenza Vaccine Innovation Center. Her lab combines cutting-edge computations with wet lab verification to fight RSV, influenza, and emerging infectious diseases such as Nipah and COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2).
In addition to those listed above, the following faculty members published a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine in August 2020, titled “Racial Disproportionality in Covid Clinical Trials.” The paper highlights the disparity of minority group representation in COVID-19 clinical trials, despite the higher rates of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization, and death among people of color. Subsequent stories on the publication of this paper appeared all over U.S.; it was one of UGA’s most popular media pick-ups since the pandemic began. To read the NEJM article in its entirety, see here.
Daniel Chastain, Pharm.D., BCIDP, AAHIVP
Clinical Assistant Professor and Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Infectious Disease at the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus in Albany; lead author of the paper in the NEJM. Areas of expertise and research include infectious diseases pharmacotherapy, antimicrobial stewardship, emerging fungal infections, management of persons living with HIV, and most recently COVID-19. Served on the frontline of one of the hardest hit areas of the country early in the pandemic, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, Georgia.
Sharmon Osae, Pharm.D., BCACP
Clinical Assistant Professor at the Southwest Georgia Clinical Campus in Albany; co-author of the NEJM paper. Her current clinical research interests include evaluating clinical pharmacy specialist impact on improvement of quality measure attainment within a rural clinical setting, optimization of medication management among geriatrics, and the assessment of medical trainee perceptions of on-site clinical pharmacy services in outpatient environments.
Dr. Henry N. Young, Ph.D
Interim Department Head of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy at the College of Pharmacy, the Kroger Associate Professor in Community Pharmacy, and Director of the Pharmaceutical Health Services, Outcomes, and Policy Graduate Program. Dr. Young was the senior author of the NEJM paper. He focuses his scholarship, teaching, and research on applied behavioral and social sciences designed to predict and influence health behaviors, outcomes, risks, and/or protective factors. Dr. Young studies medication use, health communication, and health outcomes, specifically as they relate to minority, rural, and underserved populations. Along with his work at the College of Pharmacy, he is the Co-Director of the Integrating Special Populations Function in the Georgia Clinical and Translational Science Alliance. Dr. Young also serves on the UGA Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity, and Community.