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Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery Featured News News Sidebar Featured News,
Brittany Jennings
April 22, 2020

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy faculty, staff, students and alumni have come together while apart to serve patients in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers and labs are actively pursuing solutions to combat the COVID-19 virus, while students are finding unique ways to connect community members virtually while in isolation, and alumni are directly delivering patient care. Together while apart, the School continues Advancing Medicine for Life. Meet the team:



Thank You!

A Thank You message from the UNC One Pharmacy Community to all Carolina Pharmacy Healthcare professionals, Healthcare workers, First Responders, and Essential Employees working hard to keep North Carolina safe.

Watch the Video


Serving patients in need

During COVID-19, UNC Central Outpatient Pharmacy has increased their meds-to-beds delivery service so patients get their prescriptions in their rooms before they leave, saving the patient from having to make another stop before finally getting home and minimizing the team’s exposure to sick patients. Their team is also doing curbside pickup so patients don’t have to enter the hospital areas unnecessarily.

From left to right: Jennifer Wolter (BS Pharm ’94), Ping Rogers (BS Pharm ’90), and Miracle Lindsey (BS Pharm ’90).



Asheville students, faculty unite to provide COVID-19 testing in low-income communities

Asheville campus students and faculty are going out into the community to provide free COVID-19 testing for low-income communities. Students Josh Fowler, Caroline Buckley and Aaron Roberts along with Professor Greene Shepherd have been visiting testing sites at low-income apartment complexes, schools, and housing districts to help battle healthcare disparities.




Caring for those working on the frontlines

Jason Simmonds (Pharm.D. ’09) and his team fill prescriptions for the hospital employees and their family members. They have maintained regular business hours to serve the employees and save them a trip to an outside pharmacy. As an added convenience, the store carries over-the-counter items which can be purchased by anyone visiting the hospital.







Showing up Everyday

Carl Taylor (Class of 1968), director of pharmacy services for Piedmont Health, goes to work for his patients every day. Piedmont Health is now working with state health officials to test employees of the Mountaire Farms plant in Siler City, N.C., for COVID-19.







UNC Alums Offer Curbside Service from Guy’s Family Pharmacy in Thomasville

Guy’s Family Pharmacy, in Thomasville, N.C., continues to operate and deliver curbside service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pharmacy is owned by UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy alums Robert Guy (‘79) and Pam Guy (‘89). Robert and Pam’s four children are all helping with curbside service. Pictured left to right: Becky Guy (daughter, ‘19), Pam Guy, and Pete Guy (son).




UNC Pharmacists Perform INR Checks in Clinic Parking Lot

Megan Clarke (left) and Ellina Max, two pharmacists in the UNC Hospitals Heart and Vascular Center, are pictured offering international normalised ratio (INR) checks for their patients on a blood thinner called Warfarin. Here, they work from the clinic parking lot in Meadowmont Village, in Chapel Hill. In addition, Megan is a UNC preceptor and lectures in UNC Eshleman School of Pharmacy required and elective courses. Ellina is a part-time pharmacist with the clinic and interacts with many UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy students and residents.




Pharmacists at UNC Health care for patients virtually

One way pharmacists at UNC Health are taking care of patients while limiting the spread of COVID-19 is by moving most all meetings to virtual videoconference or phone calls. UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy alumni Stephen Clark, Pharm.D., BCOP, a clinical oncology pharmacist, is seen here speaking with a patient via telephone.







Student creates Phone-A-Friend program

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Diana Lee, a third year Pharm.D. student, created a Phone-A-Friend program, which mobilized students to call nursing home residents in Chapel Hill, N.C. Each day, students called to let residents know they were not alone and that they were being thought of.






Family pharmacy works to ensure safety of employees and community

Chocky White, BS Pharm ’68 manages Medical Arts Pharmacy in Henderson, N.C. with his three children. Since 1971, they have been serving their town and five surrounding counties. From educating patients on ways to limit the spread of COVID-19, to compounding hand sanitizer to supply customers and local businesses, to offering drive-thru dispensing and delivery of medications, Chocky and Medical Arts Pharmacy is working to ensure the safety of his employees and community.






Pharmacy providing free delivery and curbside pickup

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy alumni Brent Talley and Jerry Cobb, and the Hayes Barton family are providing free delivery and curbside pickup at Hayes Barton Pharmacy in Five Points, Raleigh N.C.



Pharmacy offering curbside pickup for patients

Dave Smithwick, BS Pharm ’91, of Southern Village Pharmacy Chapel Hill, N.C. is working hard to ensure patients stay healthy while still receiving the medications they need by offering curb-side pick-up.





Oldest pharmacy in the U.S. continues to serve during COVID-19 pandemic

Alec Wade Ginsberg, PharmD, RPh, ’16, and his family own CO Bigelow in New York City — the oldest pharmacy in the United States (open since 1838). Alec says the pharmacy has never been closed for a single day in their 182 year history. The COVID-19 pandemic is no different. He and his family are continuing to serve the NYC community.







Anthony Hickey, Ph.D.

Director, UNC Catalyst for Rare Disease  

Optimizing formulations of antivirals



Learn more about the UNC Catalyst


Alexander V. Kabanov, Ph.D., Dr.Sci.

Director, Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery
Mescal S. Ferguson Distinguished Professor Co-Director
Carolina Institute for Nanomedicine Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Engineering 

Making inhaled formulations of antivirals for COVID-19


Learn more about the CNDD


Angela Kashuba, BSc.Phm., Pharm.D. DABCP FCP

John A. and Margaret P. McNeill, Sr. Distinguished Professor
Director, Clinical Pharmacology and Analytical Chemistry Core, UNC Center for AIDS Research

Developing parent and intracellular phosphorylated active metabolite bioanalytical assays for cell, animal, and human PK study

Learn more about the Kashuba Lab


Sam Lai, Ph.D.

Director, Pharmacoengineering Program
Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics

Working on inhaled therapy. In parallel testing in hamster model for COVID19. Development of scalable GMP production system for our lead mAb. Making better antibodies against COVID-19. Collaborating on developing lamb model for COVID-19. Making non-infectious COVID-19 that the community can work with.

Learn more about the Lai Lab


Jian Liu, Ph.D.

John & Deborah McNeill, Jr. Distinguished Professor
Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry

Evaluating which specific heparin sulfate structure displays the highest affinity to COVID-19 spike protein. This heparin sulfate is expected to interrupt the binding between COVID-19 spike protein and its cellular receptor to stop the virus establishing its infection. Heparin sulfate also attenuates the inflammation induced by COVID-19 infection. It is now known that many patients infected by COVID-19 suffer from uncontrolled inflammation responses in the lung, which leads to lung failure. Using heparin sulfate, we will inhibit a series of proinflammatory proteins released after COVID-19 infection to reduce the symptoms in patients.

Learn more about the Jian Liu Lab


Kuo-Hsiung Lee, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor
Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry

Identification of potential natural product-based new drugs for treating COVID-19. We are looking for the possibility of obtaining a research grant support as well as an active collaborator for screening our new leads to accomplish our goals.

Learn more about the Natural Products Research Lab


Rihe Liu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry

Investigating how to reduce the ‘cytokine storm’ frequently happening in severe COVID-19 cases. Analyzing several other targets on COVID-19 (ACE2 and TMPRSS2).


Learn more about the Liu Lab


Gauri Rao, Pharm.D., M.S.

Assistant Professor
Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experiential Education

Cellular PK/PD of novel antivirals for COVID-19


Learn more about the Rao Lab


Alexander Tropsha, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Pharmacoinformatics, K.H. Lee Distinguished Professor
Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry

Computational research projects on possible target and drug discovery against SARS-CoV-2 virus. We have generated several putative inhibitors of the Main Protease of the virus that are expecting experimental confirmation and are involved in several grant writing efforts to push this research forward.

Learn more about the Tropsha Lab


Tim Willson, Ph.D.

Professor, SGC Center for Chemical Biology

The SGC-UNC laboratory is working with UNC virologists to identify drugs that slow the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to multiply inside cells. We have identified kinase enzymes that are modified by a closely related coronavirus when it infects cells. Drugs that target these enzymes will be tested for anti-viral activity in human lung cells infected with the SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19.

Learn more about the SGC-UNC Lab

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