Research Day Showcases Student Excellence in PBS

For the first time since the pandemic, the faculty and staff of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences hosted the department’s annual Research Day in person last week. The event featured research talks by alumni and faculty, poster presentations by students, opportunities to network, and a formal awards program.

Students were the highlight of the event with their research posters, presentations, and honors.  Award winners included:

Dr. James T. Stewart Graduate Student Endowment – honors the late Jim Stewart, a former faculty member

  • Tyler Brown

Joseph P. LaRocca Graduate Research Fund – honors the late Dr. Joe LaRocca, a former faculty member

  • Gui Guimaraes – WINNER “Oligonucleotide Nonspecific Binding and Its Implications in Pharmaceutical Development”
  • Ian Durie – FINALIST “Broad spectrum therapeutic development towards high-risk pathogens”
  • Jiabao Song – FINALIST “”Chemoproteomic profiling of HAT substrates in the native cellular context”

Outstanding Poster Awards

  • Jeremy Burton – “The Spatiotemporal Mapping of Proinflammatory GPCR-induced MAPK p38 Signaling Reveals A Key Role for Receptor Internalization”
  • Elizabeth Hughes – “Using Structure-based Activity Relationship Analysis (SAR) to Overcome Anthracycline Chemoresistance”
  • Jiabao Song – “Chemoproteomic Profiling of Cellular Substrates of the Lysine Acetyltransferase HAT1 Using Cell Permeable Bioorthogonal Reporters”
  • Autumn Tobin – “Inhibition of Class I Fusion Proteins by Targeting the Intermediate State”

PBS Junior Student of the Year

  • Matthew Whittaker

The daughter of the Dr. Joe LaRocca, Dr. Beth LaRocca-Pitts, participated in the award presentations.

Earlier in the day, two PBS alumni provided keynote messages. Dr. Vishal Gupta ’00 addressed “From UGA to Chief Scientific Officer: Reflections on a 22-Year Career Journey.” Later in the day, Dr. Tanzir Mortuza ’09, ’18 discussed “From Toxicology to Regulatory Affairs.”

Held at the college rather than the Georgia Center for Continuing Education, the event shifted from spring to fall semester this academic year. According to Dr. Jason Zastre, PBS Interim Assistant Department Head for Graduate Education and the event coordinator, the format modifications allowed for more participation of students and faculty. “We were pleased with the content of the program and the engagement of our faculty and students,” said Dr. Zastre.  “It was an outstanding Research Day.”

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