March 16, 2021

Dear PharmDawg Nation:

Last week, we eclipsed the one-year point of the COVID-19 pandemic. And now, we mark the anniversaries of the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and witness the trial of the officer accused of killing George Floyd. There are, no doubt, memories of these tragic events that may be overwhelming. At the UGA College of Pharmacy, we recognize and validate the hurt, pain, sadness, and other emotions that may resurface. The images from social media and the news can cause repeated trauma, which may impact us in adverse ways.

Our College values the diverse members of our community, and we reiterate that there is no place for racism and injustice in our society. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., “Injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.” Our PharmDawg Family stands with our greater community in rejecting anti-Black and ALL forms of racism. We affirm that Black Lives Matter.

As you process all the occurrences and memories from the past year, the College is here to provide support. If you would like share your thoughts and emotions regarding the social unrest our country experienced or even the pandemic, please reach out to Dr. Vivia Hill-Silcott, Director of Diversity Programs and Academic Support, at

Stay healthy in all ways, PharmDawgs!

Kelly M. Smith, Dean

News & Announcements

Welcome, John Varghese!

We are pleased to announce the return of Mr. John Varghese to the College of Pharmacy’s leadership team. John will serve as the College of Pharmacy’s new Director of Finance and Administration effective immediately. Read the full memo here.

John can be reached at His office is located in the Dean’s Suite, Room 101D.

Inclement Weather Due - Review Tornado Shelter Info

The weather forecast through Thursday indicates the threat of heavy rains, damaging winds, and the potential for isolated tornados throughout the state.  As we approach this severe weather, now is a great time to review our shelter locations in the event of a tornado.  These locations are posted on our website.  Click on the links below to read about your area and precautions to take on your campus.


Gwinnett, please check with the your building supervisor to learn about shelter locations.

Be safe, PharmDawgs!

Are there COVID-19 considerations I need to make in my building during a tornado warning? (Social distancing and sheltering)

During a tornado warning, your building occupants should still go to your designated tornado shelter locations. Severe weather shelter locations can be found at this site. If possible, try to provide spacing between sheltering individuals and/or wear a cloth face covering.

Match Day is Friday!

This Friday, we will announce our P4 and graduate job and residency matches starting at 8:00am! Follow along via our Instagram stories (@ugapharmacy) and #UGAMatch2021 on Twitter. Contact Dr. Chris Bland with any great news to post!

PharmDawg Vaccinators

PharmDawgs have been hard at work administering COVID-19 vaccines throughout the community!

This past Wednesday, P2 students Judy Kim, Jae Joe, and Edith Ford helped administer vaccines at a clinic put on by Tuxedo Pharmacy in Atlanta, alongside Mercer students.

Saturday morning, the Black Student Pharmacist Organization administered vaccines at Bethel Baptist Church in Watkinsville, through the University Cancer & Blood Center. Participating PharmDawgs included P1 students Leslie Phillips, Jessie Edgar, Alaina Lewis, and Matisse Murphy; P2 students Tierra Jackson, Kyra Leonard, Lakedra White, Johnnathian Tookes, and Folarin Akenwekomi; and faculty members Drs. Blake Johnson and Brian Seagraves.

Saturday afternoon, PharmDawgs continued on administering vaccines at University Cancer & Blood Center in Athens. Participating in this clinic were P2 students Daniel Rogers, Tierra Jackson, and Nikisha Patel; P3 students Lili Hill and Nancy Nguyen; and faculty members Drs. Lori Duke and William Huang.

P4 John Lam, currently on a rotation with Richmond Hill Pharmacy, was featured on the local news in Savannah. John actually had the distinction of administering the FIRST Vaccine of the J&J brand at the clinic! He has administered thousands of COVID vaccinations.

Great work, PharmDawg Vaccinators!

Women of Color in Science Roundtable Discussion

Many thanks to all who attended the Women of Color in the Sciences roundtable discussion on the "Impact of Mentoring," held this past Thursday. We are grateful to our panelists: Dr. Grace Gowda, Director, International Biomedical Regulatory Sciences; Dr. Bridg'ette Israel, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutics, Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University; Dr. Eileen Kennedy, Dr. Samuel C. Benedict Professor, Interim Assistant Department Head, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences; Dr. Wided Missaoui, Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences; and Dr. Ebony Tate, Staff Clinical Pharmacist Humana Clinical Pharmacy Review (HCPR) Quality.

A special thanks to our moderator, Menbere Yisfashewa Wendimu, Graduate Student in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences, and to Dr. Vivia Hill-Silcott for organizing.

2021 PharmD Lead Dawg Awards

We are now accepting nominations for the PharmD Lead Dawg Awards. Lead Dawg Awards recognize PharmD students serving as leaders, in the broadest sense of the term. Many students are doing great things within the College of Pharmacy, our community, and/or our profession; these awards serve as one way to recognize their efforts. Nominations should be submitted here by March 26, 2021. For questions, contact Dr. Duc Do.

CE Webinar: The Ins and Outs of Prescription Drug Labeling

FDA’s Division of Drug Information is presenting a series of continuing education (CE) webinars targeting the needs of health care professionals. The next CE Webinar is “The Ins and Outs of Prescription Drug Labeling” on Tuesday, March 23 at 1pm. More information here.

Welcome, Gabriel Bradley Clemmons!

The newest little PharmDawg has made his entrance in the world! Gabriel Bradley Clemmons was born March 12, 2021, weighing in at 8 lbs and 20.5 inches. Momma (Amber Clemmons), baby, dad, and big brother James are all doing well!

In Memoriam: Michael Gigandet '72

We lost a valued member of the PharmDawg Family recently with the passing of Mike Gigandet. A 1972 graduate, Mike served as Co-Chair of the College of Pharmacy’s Vision 2003/VisionPlus Board and on the UGA Alumni Association Board of Directors. He was a long-time supporter of the college, and the “Michael P. Gigandet Alumni Suite” was dedicated in his name. He also received the 1991 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Mike and his wife Phyllis loved attending the annual UGA President’s Club Reception, and he was a frequent participant in the college’s Albert W. Jowdy Golf Tournament.

Mike’s obituary can be found here.

Savannah Scavenger Hunt

Savannah held its 2nd annual Scavenger Hunt this past week! As the P4s wrap up their APPEs and P3s wrap up classes, Dr. Misha Thomason Watts wanted to do something fun for the students - so she created a Scavenger Hunt with some Savannah history infused in the clues! After last week's Student Forum, interested students stuck around for instructions and then headed out for 2 ½ hours for the hunt.  Dr. Watts, Ken Duke, and Tricia Cordray went to the final stop to award the winners: the "912 Crew" - Emily Plauche, Morgan Easterling, Savannah Eason, Yancey Murray, and Cheyenne Sumner. A great time was had by all!

COLT - COVID-19 Updates

Changes to DawgCheck to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance

Starting on Monday, March 15, new questions based on CDC guidance will be included in the Check for Symptoms tool to provide information and assistance based on where you are in the COVID-19 vaccine series. Supporting materials on the DawgCheck website, including FAQs, will also be updated on Monday.

Continue to be Safe, Bulldogs!

It is hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since COVID-19 changed all of our lives so dramatically. Even though a growing number of people will soon have access to vaccines, we must continue to follow health protocols for the health and safety of our community.

  • Remember to wear your face covering in classrooms, on the bus and around others—even when outside.
  • Social distance when- and wherever possible.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Be Georgia Strong/Dawg Strong off campus, too! This is where you have the most important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Research, Accolades, & Media

Faculty Research & Presentations

Dr. Houjian Cai, along with Dr. Michael Bartlett, and several members of Dr. Cai’s laboratory published “Long chain fatty acyl-CoA Synthetase 1 promotes prostate cancer by elevation of lipogenesis and fatty acid beta-oxidation” in Oncogene.

Drs. Priya Narayanan and Somanath Shenoy served on the American Heart Association Fellowship Study Section on March 12. 

Dr. Randall Tackett presented “Medical Marijuana” at the virtual CME Intensive Course In Prescribing and Pharmacology of Controlled Drugs: Critical Issues and Common Pitfalls, presented by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and the Alabama Board of Nursing, on March 11.

Dr. Lori Duke Re-Elected Rho Chi Region Councilor

Dr. Lori Duke has been re-elected to a 2 year term as Rho Chi Region Councilor for III – South.  As a result of the appointment, she is also a member of The Rho Chi Society Executive Council. Dr. Duke has served as the faculty advisor for the UGA Rho Chi Chapter (Alpha Kappa) since 2016.

Southeast Regional Clinical & Translational Science Conference

CET graduate students virtually presented the following research posters at the Southeast Regional Clinical & Translational Science Conference on March 3 and 4, 2021:

  • Jafari E, Liu F, Prahalathan P, Narayanan SPRole of Neuronal Spermine Oxidase on Vascular Damage in a Model of Ischemic Retinopathy  
  • Liu F, Candadai AA, Fouda AY, Alfarhan M, Palani CD, Xu ZM, Caldwell RB, Narayanan SPDeletion of Arginase 2 Attenuates Neuroinflammation in an Experimental Model of Optic Neuritis  
  • Alfarhan M, Liu F, Pichavaram P, Narayanan SPInvestigating the Impact of Polyamine Oxidase Inhibition in Regulating Retinal Neuroinflammation  
  • Adil MS, Verma A, Rudraraju M, Narayanan SP, Somanath PRTargeting ACE2 to Restrict SARS-CoV-2 Using Triciribine  
  • Jones TW, Alshammari A, Pillai B, Zhang D, Fagan SCSystemic Angiotensin Type II Receptor (AT2R) Agonism Modulates Macrophages After Ischemic Stroke  

National APPE Selections

In addition to the P3 PharmDawgs selected for highly competitive application-based APPEs we mentioned in last week's Script, Lexus Chen was selected for an APPE with the American Pharmacists Association (APhA). Best of luck!


Career Tools for Success - This Thursday!

Feeling a bit lost with your career development? There are resources to help you grow! This Thursday at 12:30pm, learn about and get access to tools that will help you in your career development, including creating a resume or CV, interview skills, networking, and job searching. This session is for all levels of pharmacy students, including BS, graduate, and PharmD students. Join via Zoom. Contact: Dr. Danielle Vitale

Student Organization Fundraisers

Don't miss out on all of the great fundraisers happening now! View the latest fundraisers in DSAC's Fundraising Weekly.

Faculty & Staff

Dr. Fulford on EdLumninaries Podcast

Tune in! Dr. Michael Fulford is featured on the latest episode of EdLuminaries, a podcast exploring the innovative and creative ways educators are driving student success. He discusses the Humanics approach to assessment in education. Listen on Spotify.

Reminder: Office of Marketing & Communications Ticketing System

The CoP Marketing and Communications Office has begun utilizing the KACE ticketing system for all requests. This includes requests for website edits/deletions/additions; printed materials; news/feature stories; social media; promotional needs; public relations/marketing work; etc. The purpose of implementing this new system is to streamline work requests we receive, which have increased greatly in the past couple of years, and better track the time needed to complete these tasks. 

To place a ticket, visit the Help Desk and select Public Relations Requests or Web Requests, depending on your need.

Virtual Administrative Professionals Day Conference

Join the UGA Georgia Center for a virtual Administrative Professionals Day Conference on April 23. Early bird pricing ends March 31. More information can be found here.

Trial Garden Plant Sale

Save the date and view the below ad for the Trial Garden's Spring Plant Sale on April 3:


View this week's student events in the latest issue of DSAC's Events Weekly. For a full list of student events, view the DSAC Calendar.

9am | PBS Seminar Series: Dr. Dritan Agalliu — Columbia University | Zoom (Passcode: PBSSEM2021)

12-2pm | Weekly One-on-One Schedule Management (Appointment required - email Dr. Vivia Hill-Silcott)


12:30pm | Career Tools for Success | Zoom (Contact: Dr. Danielle Vitale)


Match Day - follow along on social! #UGAMatch2021

2pm | Career Drop-In Hours | Zoom (Contact: Dr. Danielle Vitale)


12-2pm | Weekly Academic Support Drop in for Stress, Anxiety, and Schedule Management | Zoom (Contact: Dr. Vivia Hill-Silcott)

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