Dr. Deborah Elder Awarded Prestigious Robie Award

Dr. Deborah Elder, Clinical Professor and Interim Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate and Professional Education in the College’s Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences (PBS), is the recipient of the 2024 William T. Robie III Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award. The announcement was made during the annual William T. Robie Lecture and Award program held at the College earlier this semester.

Honoring the legacy of William T. Robie III ’70, the first African American to graduate from the College of Pharmacy, the award is presented to an individual who advocates for a more equitable and inclusive society.

The first African American full professor in the College’s PBS Department, Dr. Elder is a Double Dawg with Bachelor’s and Doctor of Pharmacy degrees that she received in 1991 and 2007 respectively. A 2022-23 Fellow of the UGA Women’s Leadership Program, Dr. Elder is past president and current vice president of faculty of the UGA Black Faculty and Staff Organization, a mentor, a Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities and Honors professor, and an advisor for the Student National Pharmaceutical Association, which focuses on health issues affecting minority and underserved communities. She is the past chair (2021-22) of the pharmaceutics section of the American Academy of Colleges of Pharmacy. She is a past board member of Live Forward, formerly AIDS Athens, and Bigger Visions of Athens, a local winter emergency shelter.

One nominator remarked, “As a pharmacy educator, Dr. Elder works diligently to advance DEI efforts and improve healthcare disparities in minority and underserved populations and communities.”

As the recipient of the Robie Award, Dr. Elder will be the keynote speaker for next year’s Robie Lecture, tentatively scheduled for February 2025. A call for nominations for the 2025 Robie Award will be released this fall.

Dr. Elder is a formulation scientist in pharmaceutics, with more than 35 years of research experience ranging from recombinant DNA to surveillance study of antineoplastic agents to dosage form design. Documentation of her research can be found in the American Journal of Pharmacy Education, the American Journal of Veterinary Research, the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding, Veterinary Dermatology, the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,  Separation Sciences Plus, and Pharmaceutical Development and Technology. Her current research projects focus on the preparation of extemporaneously prepared sterile and non-sterile pharmaceutical products, expiration dating of compounded non-sterile pharmaceuticals, drug formulation for individualized patient care, and the use of technology in teaching and assessing pharmacy skills.

Along with her research accomplishments, she has developed a course-specific learning tool, Instructional Video Modules: Pharmacy Compounding Techniques that UGA copyrighted. She is the primary author and editor of the fourth edition of A Practical Guide to Contemporary Pharmacy Practice and Compounding, a textbook widely used in pharmacy education, and she is a contributing author to Pharmaceutical Dosage Forms and Drug Delivery Systems, and Pharmaceutical Calculations.

Pictured: Dean Kelly Smith and Dr. Deborah Elder

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