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Professor advancing first inhaled antibody treatment for RSV  

February 26, 2024

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes lower respiratory tract infection in millions each year and is the leading cause of hospitalization in young children. It is also responsible for over a hundred thousand hospitalizations each year among the immunocompromised and the elderly. Sam Lai, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and his lab, have created an inhaled “muco-trapping” monoclonal antibody that effectively treats RSV infections, called Mota-MT.   “Building off of our experience with COVID and the challenge that comes with vaccine hesitancy, our team was motivated to explore an … Read more

Using AI to build a smart sensing device  

February 22, 2024

Alexander Tropsha, Ph.D., is using machine learning and artificial intelligence to help his collaborators at Harvard build a portable chemical gas sensing device called iNOSES that will help identify volatiles in the air.   Tropsha, K.H. Lee Distinguished Professor in the Division of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and collaborators at Harvard University, received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant as part of the Convergence Accelerator program. The program is investing nearly $10 million across several projects to develop transformative bio-inspired solutions, like iNOSES.   “The proposed bioinspired device employs a ‘sniffing’ sequence of … Read more

New leaders in pharmacy: Yevgeny Brudno

February 20, 2024

Yevgeny (Yev) Brudno, Ph.D., joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as an associate professor in the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics (DPMP) in January after serving as adjunct faculty for six years. He also holds an appointment in the joint department of biomedical engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University.   “I’m excited to work with friends and colleagues at the school of pharmacy to bring potent and affordable therapies to patients both in the U.S. and around the world,” said Brudno.   Brudno received dual degrees in chemistry and biophysics with … Read more

Mollie Scott joins ABCCM Board of Directors 

February 15, 2024

Mollie Scott, Pharm.D., Regional Associate Dean for the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Asheville campus, has been named as a new member of the board of directors for Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry’s (ABCCM) Doctors’ Medical Clinic.   “I am thrilled to be named as a member of the ABCCM Medical Ministry Board of Directors,” said Scott. “ABCCM is a critical organization for our community and provides essential services for those in need. Our pharmacy students and faculty have volunteered at the medical clinic for decades, and I look forward to ongoing collaborations to address social determinants of health in vulnerable … Read more

Highlighting the impact of rural pharmacies through practice-based research

February 12, 2024

The Rural Research Alliance of Community Pharmacies (RURAL-CP) is the first multi-state practice-based research network (PBRN) exclusively for rural community pharmacies. PBRNs work to identify clinical questions of interest to health care professionals and design studies to answer those questions. Although other pharmacy PBRNs exist, before RURAL-CP, none have focused exclusively on rural community pharmacies.   The RURAL-CP’s mission is to reduce rural health disparities by supporting high-quality implementation research. This network will identify pressing research priorities in rural pharmacies and evaluate the implementation of pharmacy practices in rural areas with the goal of amplifying the voice of rural pharmacies … Read more

Associate Professor awarded $2 million to study the effect of antibody-based therapies

February 7, 2024

Associate Professor Carter Cao, Ph.D., in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics, is harnessing the power of quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) and cutting-edge computational modeling and simulation tools to understand how antibody-based treatments interact among diverse biological contexts.  Cao’s research looks at the dynamics and mechanisms of the immune system in response to the constantly evolving diseases in our world.   Using QSP, computational modeling and simulation tools will provide multi-dimensional data that navigates the body’s dynamic physiology. It will study how each immune system, diseases and antibodies interact with each other, with the hope … Read more

New leaders in pharmacy: Grace Marley

January 24, 2024

Grace Marley, Pharm.D. ‘23, will join the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy in February as a research assistant professor in the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy (DPOP) positioned at the Southeastern Area Health Education Center (SEAHEC) in Wilmington, North Carolina.   “I am most excited about this role given the opportunities to make a true impact through research in coastal North Carolina,” said Marley. “There are so many incredible initiatives already up and running in that area to counteract the opioid epidemic, however I am excited to truly give a voice to the impact that pharmacy, and in particular community … Read more

Opportunity to impact global health supply chains 

January 22, 2024

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is part of two consortiums, DAI and the Panagora Group, that have been awarded a place on the Global Health Comprehensive Technical Assistance for Health Supply Chain and Pharmaceutical Management (Comprehensive TA) contract by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).   This is a competitive contracting mechanism designed to ensure that USAID partner countries have sustainable access to safe, effective, quality-assured and affordable health commodities. An indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract, the Comprehensive TA IDIQ is part of the USAID’s broader Next Generation Global Health Supply Chain Suite of Programs (NextGen).   The … Read more

Faculty member advancing an inhalable pan-SARS treatment into clinical development 

January 18, 2024

Four years since SARS-CoV-2 first spread across the U.S., there are still tens of thousands of new weekly COVID hospitalizations, underscoring the need for more effective means to prevent these infection-induced hospitalizations. Sam Lai, Ph.D., professor in the Division of Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, is advancing an inhalable antibody treatment that not only works against all SARS variants but can be dosed with at-home convenience rather than the traditional means of systemic infusion.   Lai’s research spans the interface of immunology and engineering, with a particular emphasis on developing novel bioactive molecules that … Read more

New leaders in pharmacy: Lisa Spees 

January 17, 2024

Lisa Spees, Ph.D. ‘16, joins the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as an assistant professor in the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy (DPOP) this month. She holds a dual appointment with the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.  “I’m excited to be contributing my expertise in rural health equity, cost and cost effectiveness analyses, and community-engaged research methods to the phenomenal team of researchers in DPOP,” said Spees.  She is trained as a health services researcher and decision scientist focused on improving care quality, equity and value for cancer populations. Her research focuses on identifying multi-level barriers across … Read more