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November 20, 2020

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I want to express my sincere appreciation for your dedication in keeping our College as safe as possible this semester. Certainly, this has been a challenging time for all of us, and yet, we can proudly say that the College of Pharmacy has one of the lowest COVID-19 rates on campus. By remaining diligent in following safety guidelines, precautions, and requirements prescribed by UGA and the College, we have persevered in our mission of teaching, service, and research throughout this pandemic. 

Continue to be mindful of the importance of good health and safe practice during the holidays. On behalf of the COVID-19 Operational Leadership Team (COLT), I want to wish you and yours a happy and safe Thanksgiving season.  May you always remain, “Georgia Strong/Dawg Strong/PharmDawg Strong!”


Michael G. Bartlett
Associate Dean for Science Education, Research and Technology
COLT Chair

In this issue:

CAP Leadership Appointments

Announced in a memo sent November 18, an expansion has been made to the leadership team in the College of Pharmacy’s Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy (CAP) Department. Dr. Henry Young, who was recently appointed the CAP Interim Department Head, has developed a new administrative structure that supports the department’s aspirations in each of its primary missions. The Department will continue to benefit from the leadership of Dr. Rusty May, who remains as the CAP Associate Department Head. 

Effective retroactively November 1, the following appointments have been made: 

  • Dr. Trisha Branan Interim Assistant Department Head for Professional Education
  • Dr. Beth Phillips – Interim Assistant Department Head for Residency Programs
  • Dr. Somanath Shenoy – Interim Assistant Department Head for Research
  • Dr. Randall Tackett – Interim Assistant Department Head for Graduate Education

According to Dr. Young, “These changes will allow us to accelerate the mission of our College, which is to make a positive difference in the lives and health of the citizenry of Georgia, the nation, and the global community.”

REMINDER: Remote Instruction After Thanksgiving

In accordance to the UGA schedule of classes following the Thanksgiving break, beginning Monday, November 30th all College of Pharmacy classes in the BS, PharmD and Graduate Programs will switch to fully online delivery. All remaining exams will be online. While our students are not required to return to campus following the Thanksgiving break, the classrooms and the KLC will be open and available to any College of Pharmacy students who wish to use our facilities for study purposes. Faculty will continue to use the same Zoom course links that were created at the beginning of the semester to hold classes after the Thanksgiving break. Zoom links are located in each course eLC section. The IIT staff will continue to host Zoom sessions and upload Zoom recordings to eLC as usual.

 Faculty are not required to teach from their assigned classrooms; however, they may choose to do so in the event that the classroom technology will assist with their instruction. Please advise the IDTO team if faculty DO intend to utilize the College of Pharmacy classrooms so they may adjust their connections.

Kennedy Lab Welcomes Jack LeClair

Jack LeClair is the new research technician in Dr. Eileen Kennedy’s laboratory in PBS.  A native of Morgan County Georgia, Jack attended Brown University in Providence Rhode Island. His early interests in chemistry, biology, and philosophy led him to concentrate in Neuroscience, with a focus on neuropharmacology and neurodegenerative disease pathology. In the Kennedy Lab, Jack will be synthesizing stapled peptides for testing as a novel inhibitor of LRRK2, a dysfunctional protein implicated in Parkinson Disease.  Welcome, Jack, to PBS and the College of Pharmacy!

Home Game Building Security

The Dawgs play Mississippi State tomorrow, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30pm. As usual on Saturdays, both buildings will be closed and locked all day. There will be no security or custodial personnel in the buildings. 

Please observe the following building security precautions

  • Please be certain that all doors for which you are responsible are locked before you leave this evening.
  • Unless you have an essential, work-related need to be in our buildings prior to kickoff tomorrow, please do not enter the buildings. Football fans may attempt to enter the building as you enter or exit. Some may be very aggressive in attempting to do so.
  • If you feel you must come in Saturday, it is your responsibility to see that the door is locked behind you and that unauthorized persons have not been given an opportunity to enter.  Likewise, when leaving, be certain that the door locks before you walk away.  If you observe unauthorized persons in either building, or find an exterior door that cannot be secured, please call the UGA Police non-emergency line: 706-542-2200.

Faculty, please discuss this information with any students who work in your labs.

Free Vehicle & Bicycle Inspections at Operation Safe Drive

Need to have your wheels checked out before you hit the road for the holidays?  On Tuesday, November 24, UGA students, faculty and staff are invited to have their vehicle inspected for free between 10:00 a.m. -  2:00 p.m. at the Tate Center Parking Deck.  This event is  Transportation and Parking Services' annual Operation Safe Drive event to help drivers prepare for safe travel during the holidays.

To ensure a contactless experience and to maintain social distance, drivers will remain in their vehicle while mechanics from UGA Transportation and Parking Services top off fluids, check belts and wiper blades, pressurize tires and do a quick visual inspection of vehicles.

Cycling instead of driving? UGA’s Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Bike Athens, will offer free bicycle safety inspections and tune-ups as well!

Pop-up Surveillance Testing for COVID also will be available during Operation Safe Drive for all UGA community members. Bring your UGA ID. Do not eat, drink or smoke/chew tobacco 30 minutes before your test.


Dr. Phillips’ Research Publicized by UGA

A recent UGA news release highlights significant research conducted by Dr. Brad Phillips, Director of UGA’s Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute and a CoP faculty member.  The study sheds light on why people with obstructive sleep apnea may have associated autoimmune disorders.  Immune system disorders are a result of either low activity or over activity of the immune system and include well known conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. 

The results could lead to better approaches for treatment and possibly new drug therapies. 

Phillips and his team looked at four cytokines—proteins involved in cell signaling—associated with autoimmune disease. They evaluated the cytokines in three groups of adults: patients with untreated OSA, patients with OSA who were receiving treatment, and people who did not have OSA. The study results revealed abnormal levels of the four cytokines in patients with untreated sleep apnea, suggesting that poor sleep and inadequate oxygen supply may affect the cytokines.  

This study, published in Clinical Immunology, is one of four investigating possible links between obstructive sleep apnea and specific diseases. In addition to autoimmune disorders, the team also is looking at neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular disease and renal disease. 

To read the news release in its entirety, see here.

Faucette, Corn Receive NCPA Presidential Scholarships

Congratulations to 4th Year PharmD students Garrett Faucette and Jasmine Corn, who have received the National Community Pharmacy Association Foundation’s Presidential Scholarship.  The scholarships were awarded on the basis of proven and outstanding leadership qualities, along with superior academic achievements.  Congratulations on this stellar accomplishment!

Dr. Brown Goes On National Tour!

During the month of November, Dr. Tim Brown, CoP Director of Interprofessional Education, delivered four national presentations as an invited lecturer. Topics and programs included:  

  • “Patient Voice: Interprofessional Approach to Opioid Misuse Disorder.” Sponsored by the American Academy of Family Physicians Behavioral and Neurology. 

  • Family Medicine Board review course, Three clinical topics addressed, including Drug Update 2020, “Review of OTC Medications for Cough and Cold,”  and “The Pitfalls of Managing Insomnia.” Sponsored by American Academy of Family Physicians. 

Thanks for representing the CoP, Dr. Brown!

Dr. Hannings Interviewed on 11-Alive

Shout Out to Dr. Ashley Hannings, Public Service Associate and Associate IPPE Director in Experience Programs, who was interviewed on 11-Alive recently about nasal sprays being a viable option for flu vaccines. Said Dr. Hannings in the interview with Reporter Jerry Carnes, 11-Alive’s Why Guy, “I think of the nasal spray as being an option for people who are ages 2 to 49 and who are for the most part otherwise healthy.” To watch the interview in its entirety, see here.


Dr. Susan Fagan Leaves Indelible Mark at College of Pharmacy

“Researcher…Teacher…Colleague…Mentor…Friend. Susan Fagan epitomizes the quintessential College Professor. Her passion for students is something to emulate, and the significant strides she has made with her research has changed lives. We will miss her greatly.”  

This tribute by Dr. Henry Young, Interim Department Head of Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy and Kroger Professor, honors Dr. Susan Fagan, who is retiring January 1, 2021 after more than 21 years of service to the College of Pharmacy.  Her various titles distinguish her accomplishments; she leaves the College as the Assistant Dean of the extended campus in Augusta; the Distinguished Research Professor, the Albert W. Jowdy Professor, and now a new designation, Professor Emeritus!
Said Susan, “I will remain an active member of the CET program and the Augusta faculty. As Professor Emeritus, I am trusted to continue in my mentoring role for my graduate students and I will manage my laboratory and ongoing funded research.  Professor Emeritus means I will always be a PharmDawg!”
Recently relocating to Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband, Bill Anderton, Susan answered a few questions about her career at CoP. 
When did you start at the College of Pharmacy and why were interested in joining CoP?
I started my academic career at Wayne State University in Detroit and soon after being promoted to Professor there in 1999, I moved to the Augusta campus of the UGA College of Pharmacy. I was attracted to the program in Augusta, because it gave me a chance to have my own lab and graduate students for the first time in my career. Joining the Stroke Center at the Medical College of Georgia also meant that I would have great collaborators, such as Dr. David Hess, in research and practice. Joe DiPiro, Pharm.D. and George Francisco, Pharm.D., also were individuals who I admired and wanted to work with.
What positions did you serve in at the College?  
In 2005, after Dr. Joe DiPiro moved to South Carolina to become Dean, I was named Interim Department Head and remained in that role for 18 months until Dr. Brad Phillips was hired. After that, I became Associate Head and Assistant Dean for the Augusta Campus. In 2013, I was named Inaugural Director of the Center for Pharmacy and Experimental Therapeutics at MCG and Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Georgia.
Who was a mentor or special person for you at the College of Pharmacy?
Dean Svein Øie nurtured my administrative skills and trusted me to make decisions and long-term plans for my campus. His trust in my instincts enabled my growth as an academic manager.
What was your most indelible memory of the College?
Being named Distinguished Research Professor in 2013, and celebrating with my lab members and colleagues, was an amazing time.

What was your favorite part of your job?
I love communicating one-on-one with students, getting to know their strengths, and helping them to see their potential. Especially when students are struggling, either from personal or academic difficulties, I want to be there for them and see them through it.
What is your lasting legacy at the College?
My lasting legacy at the College is the renovated HM building and lab on the Augusta campus. I dreamed about it and advocated for it for almost a decade, and to see it come to be was very satisfying. I know that the students, staff and faculty who follow me will thrive in the space and do things I can only imagine.
What will you miss the most?
I already miss my colleagues and students and the celebrations we used to have prior to the pandemic.
What do you plan to do in retirement?  
I plan on golfing, exercising and writing a novel. I am also praying for a puppy!

Next Week
For a full list of student events, view the DSAC Calendar.
Happy Thanksgiving, PharmDawgs!