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October 20, 2020
In this issue:

Dr. Henry Young, Sarah Jones Awarded USDA Grant to Improve Health in Rural Georgia

In a unique collaboration between Dr. Henry Young, Kroger Professor and the Interim Department Head of CAP, and Sarah Jones, IT Senior Manager, the College of Pharmacy has received a USDA grant totaling almost $1 million to develop a Distant Learning and Telemedicine Program for underserved populations in rural Georgia. 
The five-year telemedicine program will encompass three key projects, including:

  • Pharmacist Telemanagement Services

  • Prescription Drug Abuse Health Communication Campaign

  • Chronic Disease Self-Management Program

While the College of Pharmacy will assume the lead in this project, Dr. Tiffany Washington from the UGA School of Social Work helped to develop and will provide support for the Chronic Disease Self-Management portion of the application. The UGA Archway Partnership, with leadership from Sharon Liggett, is a collaborative partner as well.

Specifically, the dollars will be used to improve the management of chronic health conditions for rural residents in nine communities in Central Georgia through partnerships between CoP and the UGA entities, along with the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (IMA) and the Georgia Union Missionary Baptist Association (GUMBA). Faculty, staff, and students will have access to videoconferencing technology to provide patient counseling, wellness checks, healthcare education, and outreach to underserved communities.

The unique aspect for CoP is the collaboration between faculty and staff in the application of a key significant grant. Said Dr. Young, “Sarah actually brought the grant opportunity to me. She was instrumental in developing the schematics of the infrastructure needed to propose this important project, and she helped to write the application during the pandemic, which was an incredibly busy time for her unit. Without her involvement, this never would have happened.  Her passion will help change lives in rural Georgia.”        

This is one of four grants the USDA awarded in Georgia, which totaled $2.8 million.  Throughout the U.S., the USDA is investing 472 in grants to help  rural residents gain access to health care and educational opportunities.  
To read an executive summary of the project, see here

Dr. Eileen Kennedy is New PBS Assistant Director

Dr. Eileen Kennedy, Associate Professor and the Dr. Samuel C. Benedict Professor, has been appointed the Interim Assistant Department Head for PBS, retroactively effective October 1. In her new role, Dr. Kennedy will coordinate PBS’s efforts in Faculty Development, Mentoring, Diversity and Inclusion, and Interdisciplinary Research.

Following her postdoctoral studies in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, Dr. Kennedy joined our College in 2010. Her current research focuses on allosteric disruption of kinases using novel stabilized peptide inhibitors for the treatment of a wide variety of diseases spanning from cancer to Parkinson’s disease to tropical diseases, including malaria.

During Dr. Kennedy’s tenure at the College of Pharmacy, she developed the first PBS Faculty Mentoring Committee, serving as Chair since its inception. As a teacher, Dr. Kennedy has been a Course Coordinator for numerous semesters and has mentored several undergraduate, graduate, and PharmD students throughout the course of her service at the college.  She has published 44 peer reviewed articles in such highly regarded journals as ACS Chemical BiologyACS Infectious DiseasesEBMO JournalNature Methods, and Cancer Research. These publications are in addition to seven patents and patent applications.  In addition, Dr. Kennedy has received more than $3.5 million in extramural funding, including a current R01 from the NIH in which she is the Pl; two Michael J. Fox Idea Awards in which she is the lead PI, a NIH P01 grant in which she is a Co-I, and a Department of Defense Cancer Research New Idea Award.
Remarked Dean Kelly Smith, “Dr. Kennedy’s background and successes are key indicators that she is a proven leader, teacher, scholar, and researcher, which will serve the College well.”  Congratulations to Dr. Kennedy on this well-deserved opportunity!

President’s Report Features Dr. Pegan, Dr. Young

UGA President Jere Morehead released the University’s 2020 President’s Annual Report last week, titled Our Vision Forward.  Featured within the electronic version of the report, in a section titled Responding to a Pandemic, was a highlight on Dr. Scott Pegan, Interim Associate Head in PBS and  Director of the Center for Drug Discovery, for his leadership in a multi-college effort to create an antiviral drug to combat the novel coronavirus using compounds similar to those designed to treat other coronaviruses. In the video portion of the report, Dr. Henry Young, Interim Department Head for CaP and Kroger Professor, was spotlighted (see approximately 1:20 into the video.)  Thanks for representing CoP well, Dr. Pegan and Dr. Young! 

It's Pharmtoberfest Week!

Now through October 23, APhA-ASP and Kroger present Pharmtoberfest Week! In honor of American Pharmacists Month, the week explores the question, "What can your pharmacist do for you?"

Many of our very own College of Pharmacy organizations have come together to create virtual patient education, present trifolds, and host a point of care testing and flu clinic. For more information, visit the Pharmtoberfest webpage.

Dr. Stephanie Bester '19 Published in Science
Dr. Stephanie Bester '19, a recent PhD graduate from our Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences Program, was published in Science with her article, "Structural and mechanistic bases for a potent HIV-1 capsid inhibitor." She was first co-first author with her lab mate, Guochao Wei (virologist), as 2nd co-first, and collaborator, Haiyan Zhao (cryo-em), as third co-first. Dr. Bester was responsible for the x-ray crystallography and structural analysis, in addition to the thermal stability assays. She also provided intellectual input to the direction of the paper and assisted in manuscript preparation. This paper was highly collaborative, as many different techniques were utilized.

Dr. Bester is in her second year as a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Mamuka Kvaratskhelia in the Division of Infectious Diseases of Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She is currently working on a T32 training grant proposal based on a follow-up story to this paper. Congratulations, Dr. Bester!

Dr. Hawkins Re-Appointed to ASHP Research Advisory Council

Dr. Anthony Hawkins, Clinical Associate Professor, was re-appointed by the ASHP Foundation Board of Directors to serve for the 2020-2021 term on the Research Advisory Council. This council advises the ASHP Board on policies and procedures for research supported or conducted by the Foundation, including how to develop and support researchers and prioritize a research agenda to guide funding allocation. Congratulations, Dr. Hawkins!

PCAT No Longer Required for Admission to PharmD Program

Effectively immediately, the PCAT will no longer be required for admission into the Doctor of Pharmacy program; however, it is highly recommended that applicants who may wish to strengthen their admissions application do take the PCAT.  
The current pandemic situation caused by COVID has had a profound impact on students' abilities to access testing services.  Additionally, standardized testing has historically created barriers to higher education, and we feel this update will allow us to recruit a more diverse future class of pharmacists. ​Finally, updating our practice to "recommended, but not required" aligns us with an overwhelming majority of colleges of pharmacy across the country.  
For questions regarding Admissions, please contact Dr. Danielle Vitale or PharmD Admissions Committee Chair, Dr. Sharmon Osae.

UGA Pharmacy Racism Virtual Town Hall Thursday

In a Time of Racial Injustice, We Are All in This Together” will take place this Thursday, October 22.  Dr. Vivia Hill-Silcott, the College’s Director of Diversity Programs and Academic Supportwill serve as moderator of this virtual event, and panel members will include Dr. Andre Mackey '88, Pharmacist at CVS and Past President of the CoP Alumni Board; Dr. Juan Meng, Associate Professor of Public Relations at UGA and Founder of the UGA Choose China and Cooperative Education Programs; and Dr. Christy Norman '06, Vice President of Pharmacy Services at Emory Healthcare and President-Elect of GSHP. Click here to join via Zoom. For questions, contact Dr. Hill-Silcott.

Tell Me More About Vaccines

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released a video entitled "Tell Me More About Vaccines" to help answer commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. The video shares why vaccines are so important and provides the background and clarity – via expert commentary and graphic illustration – to help viewers understand the science of vaccine development. Tune in to hear from various experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci (NIH), Dr. Stephen Hahn (FDA) and Dr. Robert Kadlec (ASPR) on the steps researchers and scientists are taking to develop a safe and effective vaccine.


Open Enrollment Begins this Thursday

USG benefits enrollment is October 21–November 6.

The USG Virtual Benefits Fair is currently taking place from October 19–23. Register to view live events, chat with vendors, and get important benefits information. 

Questions? Contact the OneUSG Connect - Benefits Call Center toll-free at 1-844-587-4236 for benefits support. Expert representatives are available 8am-5pm EST, Monday through Friday.

Shared Sick Leave Pool

During open enrollment, you have the ability to donate to the Shared Sick Leave Pool effective January 1, 2021.

In order to join the Shared Sick Leave Pool, you must:

  • Donate a minimum of 8 hours sick leave during open enrollment (October 21 – November 6).
  • Have a minimum 48-hour sick leave balance on January 1, 2021 to maintain the required 40-hour sick leave balance after your donation is processed in January.

To join the shared leave pool and/or donate sick leave hours, complete the 2020 Shared Leave Enrollment/Donation form between the open enrollment period of October 21 and November 6.

If you have questions about the Shared Sick Leave Pool, please contact University HR at or 706.542.2222.

Major Window Replacement Project in Wilson To Get Underway

Exterior windows on the second and third floors on the east and south sides of the R.C. Wilson Pharmacy Building will be replaced late this semester.  This is the next step in the College’s efforts to improve and enhance the safety of existing facilities. If your office and/or work area is affected by this installation project, you should have received notification late last week.  
In summary, working with UGA’s Facilities and Maintenance Division, along with multiple vendors, CoP will implement this project in several phases.  
  • Phase I – Already underway and involves a pilot installation on the 2nd floor of the RC Wilson Building (in the common area entry way adjacent to the side entrance to CAP). This project should be completed by 10/16.  
  • Phase II – Scheduled for 10/28 – 11/3. Interior prep work to include asbestos abatement for window caulking, along with movement of furniture and IT equipment. All locations affected will be sanitized after prep work.   
  • Phase III – Scheduled to start 11/23.  Window installation is tentatively scheduled to begin 11/23 and will include both interior and exterior work. A more detailed plan related to Phase III will be provided soon.  
For information regarding specific facility-related needs, contact Brad Brown.

Learn About All Things Research at UGA at Research Orientation

The Office of Research invites both new and veteran faculty to attend the Research Orientation via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 3-5 p.m. This is part of the revised New Faculty Academy series managed by the Provost’s Office and will feature information about how the Office of Research can support your research. Topics include sponsored programs, internal grants, technology commercialization, research integrity and safety, human and animal subjects, and core facilities. Register through the Professional Education Portal.

Free Webinar -  Office of New Drug (OND) Research: Seeking Collaborators, Funding Opportunities Available

Held November 6 from 1-2:30pm EST, this free webinar will help participants:
  • Describe the types of candidates who are eligible for FDA’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellowship Program.
  • Provide examples of how regulatory science research is used by the Office of New Drugs to (OND) facilitate drug development or inform policy.
  • Identify opportunities for collaborating with and applying for funding from OND’s 21st Century Cures Drug Development Tools Grant Program.
  • Locate websites where priority lists and funding opportunities are posted for OND’s Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) Program.
  • Distinguish between FDA’s Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) and the Centers of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI) Programs.      

Click here for more information or to register.


Emergency Funding Available for Students

The Molly and Max Blank Scholarship Application Cycle is now open for submissions.

Eligibility and Instructions:

  • This scholarship will serve to help alleviate the financial burdens that may impede students from entering or completing their studies at the UGA College of Pharmacy.
  • All UGA College of Pharmacy students (undergraduate, graduate and PharmD) with financial need are eligible to apply.
  • Incoming PharmD students (entering in fall 2021) who have submitted their seat deposits are also eligible to apply.
  • The College of Pharmacy intends to award approximately twelve (12) scholarships (amount ranging from $2,000-$5,000), totaling $30,000.
  • Previous recipients are eligible to reapply. If returning and application and tasks are marked “complete” when you sign in, please edit all tasks and provide updated information before you submit for review.
  • Please apply here. The deadline to apply is Friday, October 30th.

Ongoing Financial Planning Counseling 

Do you have questions on how to best manage your money? Molly Frumka Sutz, AFC®, an Accredited Financial Counselor and a UGA graduate student, will provide one-on-one financial counseling for ALL students to discuss budgets, student loans, and other financial issues. Ms. Sutz, who is pursuing her graduate degree in Behavioral Financial Planning/Financial Therapy, has three years of professional experience in a financial planning firm and is passionate about guiding the next generation towards making sound financial decisions. To schedule a time for this free service, click on this link.

This Week
For a full list of student events, view the DSAC Calendar.
Career Development Drop-In Hours with Dr. Vitale | 1:30-3pm, Zoom
Tutoring for: P2 PHRM 4200 & 4430 | 6-7pm
PBS Seminar Series: Dr. Wes Van Voorhis, University of Washington | 9-10am, Zoom
Grand Rounds: PGY1: Victoria Urban | 12:10-1:10pm
Schedule Management Drop-In Hours with Dr. Hill-Silcott | 2-4pm, Zoom
Tutoring for: P1 PHRM 3310 & 3600 | 5:30-6:30pm
Tutoring for: P2 PHRM 4200 and 4430 | 6-7pm
Tutoring for: P2 PHRM 4200 & 4430 | 7-8pm
Flu Clinic | 3-5pm, RC Wilson Breezeway
Virtual Town Hall: "In a Time of Racial Injustice, We Are All in This Together" | 6-7:30pm
Tutoring for: P2 PHRM 4200 & 4430 | 5:30-8pm
Tutoring for: P1 PHRM 3300 & 3600 | 7-8pm