Dr. Shelley Hooks is the New PBS Interim Department Head

Dr. Shelley Hooks, a Professor in the College of Pharmacy’s Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences (PBS) Department and Associate Vice President in the UGA Office of the Vice President for Research, has been appointed Interim Department Head of PBS, effective July 10.

“Dr. Hooks is an accomplished teacher, researcher, and academic leader,” said Dean Kelly M. Smith, in making the announcement.  “In her various roles throughout the years, she has consistently demonstrated her ability to both advocate for and lead faculty, staff, and students in a highly effective manner. I am confident in her abilities to guide the PBS Department through its leadership transition, and I am grateful for her willingness to serve in this interim capacity.”

Dr. Hooks joined the College of Pharmacy in 2004 as an Assistant Professor.  Throughout her tenure, she has served in many administrative roles for the College and UGA. In her current position as the UGA Associate Vice President for Research, she oversees the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and Internal Grants and Awards.  Previously, Dr. Hooks served as the Interim and Associate Director for the UGA Center for Drug Discovery and the Graduate Coordinator for the PBS Department. In addition, she has served or chaired various College and University committees, working groups, and review panels, including the College’s Academic and Professionalism Committee, the Facilities and Safety Committee, the Graduate Education and Curriculum Committee, the PBS Management Committee, and the PBS Graduate Program Committee. Her research concentrates on the molecular mechanisms by which cellular signaling regulates cell function, and how these signaling mechanisms go awry in cancer and central nervous system disorders.

Dean Smith remarked, “I am grateful to everyone who offered to serve in a leadership role within the PBS department. Throughout my discussions and deliberations for this interim role, there was one consistent theme – everyone is willing to pull together to make the department even more vibrant and stronger than it already is. I am confident that the PBS faculty and staff will continue to model this sentiment. Dr. Hooks will retain her role as Associate Vice President for Research and will be reliant on this spirit of cooperation and support as we begin a national recruitment process for a new department head this fall.”

A native of Cheraw, South Carolina, Dr. Hooks received her undergraduate degree from Clemson University; her graduate degree from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and her post doctorate from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.  She and her family, including her husband and two teenaged sons, reside in Athens, and they enjoy spending time outdoors and taking advantage of the exceptional art, music, and food in the community.

“I am very grateful for the fantastic leadership and stewardship of Dr. Brian Cummings, as he is leaving the Department in excellent shape and on an excellent trajectory,” said Dr. Hooks, commenting on her predecessor. “I look forward to working with all of my PBS colleagues to maintain that trajectory and recruit an exceptional permanent Department Head.”

Dr. Brian Cummings, the current PBS Department Head, announced his departure several weeks ago after accepting the position of Dean at the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.  A 1999 graduate of Wayne State University, Dr. Cummings will direct 13 programs in the divisions of Applied Health Sciences, Health Care Sciences, and Pharmacy at his alma mater. His last day as Department Head is July 9, and he will remain to support Dr. Hook’s transition until July 31.

“I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to work for the past 18 years in one of the best Colleges of Pharmacy in the nation,” said Dr. Cummings. “It has truly been an honor.  I am grateful to Dr. Vasu Nair for his faith in me, as well as Dean Emeritus Svein Øie. I am especially thankful for Dean Kelly Smith, who has been amazing, supportive, and inspiring.  There are so many people to thank – my fellow faculty, the staff, but especially the students. Leaving the University of Georgia was probably one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever made, but I am comforted by the fact that I will always be a part of the PharmDawg family. I am confident that the Department is in great hands with the appointment of Dr. Shelley Hooks as the Interim Department Head, whose spirit of service and dedication to the University of Georgia speaks for itself. There is only one last thing to say – Go Dawgs!”

Best wishes to Dr. Hooks and Dr. Cummings in their new leadership roles. We are PharmDawg Proud!

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