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Throughout the community, our alumni are on the front lines of this crisis. Here, we spotlight a few:



Ozawa: The right vaccination plan can speed up US economic recovery. Here’s what it should include.

Vaccines are being viewed as a magic bullet to solve the Covid-19 pandemic and cure the US economy.

Yet how the vaccines are deployed — and who gets them first — will critically impact the speed and extent of a potential US economic recovery. A prolonged versus a speedy recovery could be the difference in trillions of dollars of net losses in real GDP.

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UNC pharmacy students help Buncombe County administer COVID-19 vaccines, testing

As Buncombe County health officials undertake the massive task of vaccinating the entire community, one group of students is proving to be essential to getting it done. Pharmacy students with the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy have been helping the county administer COVID-19 vaccines. The students, who attend school at the UNC-Asheville satellite campus, have turned into frontline workers.

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Anastasia Borodai, PY2 PharmD candidate, draws up the first vial of the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine on Tuesday, Dec. 15, at UNC Medical Center.

Pharmacy students, residents administer first COVID-19 vaccines in Chapel Hill, Hillsborough

Six UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy learners took part in a historic day, preparing and administering the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Chapel Hill and Hillsborough on Dec. 15.

“Right from the first year of their pharmacy program, our learners have intensive and comprehensive vaccine training. They are well prepared to help North Carolina’s medical centers distribute and administer this game-changing vaccine. I’m proud of their efforts and delighted that our profession is able to stand at the ready to put an end to this pandemic,” said Angela Kashuba, dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

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View photos from the first day of vaccinations



Pharm.D. alumna administers COVID-19 vaccine to fellow alumna

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy alumna Kara Parsons Thornton, Pharm.D. ’13 (left) receives a COVID-19 vaccine from former classmate Lia Lynch, Pharm.D. ’13, in Charlottesville, Virginia.


School accelerates COVID-19 Research work with funding from the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory

The collaboratory funded 85 projects across 14 UNC System schools, including $1 million allocated to each of the six historically minority-serving institutions.

UNC ESOP specific awards

  • The Sam Lai Lab. Preclinical Development of a Potent Muco-Trapping Antibody Against SARS-CoV-2 for Inhaled Immunotherapy and Prophylaxis Against COVID-19. This study seeks to engineer a neutralizing monoclonal antibody against SARS-CoV-2.Budget: $798,352
  • Center for Medication Optimization. Expanding Telehealth Services to Prevent COVID-19 in Rural North Carolina(opens new window)
    Jon Easter.  This study will increase telehealth implementation through creating four rural NC clinics to expand safe care for vulnerable patients. Budget: $65,705
  • The Willson lab will identify and/or generate small molecule inhibitors, which will then be tested by the Moorman lab for antiviral activity. The Willson lab will also optimize hit and lead compounds confirmed by the Baric and Heise labs to have antiviral activity against SARS2. $275,000
  • The Pearce lab, as part of the Center for Integrative Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery (CICBDD), will optimize the pharmacological properties of existing hit compounds with the goal of delivering a clinical candidate through the READDI drug development effort. The Pearce lab, in coordination with the Willson lab, will also generate new hit compounds based on validated SARS2 targets. All efforts will be coordinated with the Willson lab to avoid duplication of efforts. $282,000

Jason Simmonds

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.

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.


With the coronavirus pandemic, complexity abounds. But solutions are on the horizon.

By Jon Easter, director of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Center for Medication Optimization and Drew Stenger, a fourth year Doctorate of Pharmacy student

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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.

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Carl Taylor

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.