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Bacteria in Residence May Improve Women’s Defense against HIV Infection

October 8, 2015

Specific microbes appear to strengthen a woman’s natural physical barriers against sexually transmitted infections like HIV, according to researchers at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The mucus lining of the cervix and vagina is a woman’s first line of defense against sexually transmitted infections. A research team led by Sam Lai, Ph.D., senior author of the study and an assistant professor at the pharmacy school, has shown that the amount of protection offered may depend on the type of helpful bacteria present in the mucus. “We set out to understand … Continued


NIH Funds CNDD Proposal to Develop New Stroke Treatment

October 7, 2015

Researchers in the Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy have received a translational NIH grant worth $783,000 over two years to develop a way to deliver to the brain a protein capable of repairing some of the damage caused by stroke. The grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke will fund the CNDD’s efforts to design a new nanoparticle delivery system capable of transporting a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor to the brain and central nervous system. BDNF is a protein that supports the survival of and growth of certain … Continued


PK/PD Modeling Expert Alan Forrest Joins DPET Faculty

October 6, 2015

Alan Forrest, Pharm.D., a researcher and educator with more than 30 years’ experience in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics modeling, has joined the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as a clinical professor in the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics. “Dr. Forrest is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of pharmacometrics whose innovative research in optimizing individual patient therapy and in advanced application of pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic and toxicodynamic systems analysis has impacted drug development and pharmacotherapy in meaningful ways,” says Dean Bob Blouin, Pharm.D. “He is recognized widely as the expert on adaptive feedback control and individualizing therapy using novel … Continued


Donna Gutterman Receives UNC Pharmacy Alumni Association 2015 Distinguished Service Award

September 29, 2015

Donna Gutterman, Pharm.D., M.B.A., a 1979 graduate of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and president of pharmaceutical and medical consulting firm Onesta, Inc., is the 2015 recipient of the UNC Pharmacy Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award. Gutterman has served on the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Foundation Board since 2012 and the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Board of Visitors since 2004. In 2010, she and her family endowed a scholarship at the School and in 2014, they increased that endowment to create the first full‐tuition scholarship at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “Dr. Gutterman is dedicated to … Continued


UNC Pharmacy Is Newest Member of International Structural Genomics Consortium

September 15, 2015

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is the first U.S. hub of a worldwide research network dedicated to defining the structure of proteins and freely sharing its discoveries with the scientific community to drive the development of new therapeutics. UNC joins Oxford University, the University of Toronto, and the State University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil, as a core laboratory of the Structural Genomics Consortium, an international, not-for-profit, public-private partnership that carries out basic science in drug discovery and makes its research output available to the scientific community with no strings attached. “The SGC identifies new drug discovery targets … Continued


UNC Researchers Awarded $11.3 Million for Cancer Nanotechnology Research

September 14, 2015

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers received an $11.3 million, five-year grant to conduct multiple studies exploring the use of nanoparticles to create cancer vaccines and improve cancer drug delivery and responses. The grant is the third in a series of awards that the university has received from the National Cancer Institute for cancer nanotechnology research. It will fund work by researchers with the Carolina Center of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, an NCI-funded collaboration between UNC-Chapel Hill and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. “UNC-Chapel Hill has emerged as a leader in nanotechnology in the last 10 years,” said … Continued


Four MOPH Graduate Students Receive NIH and NSF Fellowships

September 10, 2015

Four graduate students in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics have been awarded fellowships by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Karen Bulaklak received an NIH F31 Fellowship from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Carla Coste Sanchez, Christina Parker and Tojan Rahhal have all been awarded fellowships from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. “Securing an external fellowship of any kind is a tremendous accomplishment as they are very competitive in nature and bring prestige to the student researcher, their faculty and the School,” says … Continued


Phi Delta Chi Fraternity Wins First Place in Leadership, Brotherhood

September 10, 2015

The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Alpha Gamma Chapter of Phi Delta Chi won the John D. Grabenstein Leadership Award and the Ralph L. Saroyan Brotherhood Award during the Phi Delta Chi Grand Council annual awards banquet held August 8 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The fraternity was also recognized as the second overall chapter in the nation. “Our chapter is ecstatic to receive these national honors,” said PY2 Michael Plazak, worthy chief counselor of the Alpha Gamma Chapter. “Five years ago, Dr. David Steeb and other student pharmacists saw an opportunity to recolonize the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Phi Delta … Continued


Smart Cells Teach Neurons Damaged by Parkinson’s to Heal Themselves

September 8, 2015

As a potential treatment for Parkinson’s disease, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created smarter immune cells that produce and deliver a neuron-healing protein to the brain while also teaching nerve cells to begin making the protein for themselves. Associate Professor Elena Batrakova, Ph.D., and her team at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy’s Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery genetically modified white blood cells called macrophages to produce glial cell–derived neurotrophic factor, or GDNF, and deliver it to the brain. Glial cells provide support and protection for nerve cells throughout the brain and body, … Continued


UNC Chapter Wins Kappa Psi Award for Highest GPA

September 8, 2015

For the second straight year, the Beta Xi Chapter of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy won the Kappa Psi Frank H. Eby Scholarship Tray Award for having all 48 members earn at least a 3.0 grade point average during the 2014–2015 school year. The award is given annually to the Kappa Psi chapter with the highest percentage of second-year and third-year students in the nation with a GPA of at least 3.0. This is the second year in a row that the School’s chapter has won the award. The fraternity received the award at … Continued