SFN Graduate School Fair 2017: Huge Success thanks to some of our Pharm Trainees!

Nadia Cempre, Neuroscience Graduate Program Coordinator would like to send a sincere thanks to everyone that made the NGP’s attendance of the Graduate School Fair at annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting a tremendous success! She was proud to have so many NGP Students accompany her at the booth to speak to and greet over 102 perspective students over the course of 4 days!

If you see the following Pharm trainees around, please thank them for doing such a great job representing the program:

Peter Klein(Beenhakker Lab), Katie Salvati (Beenhakker Lab),  and Lise Harbom (McConnell/Beenhakker Lab)

Some other contributors to the success of the event were:

Dr. Heather Ferris, Andrew Chen, Katrina McNeely, Emily Andre, Irene Cheng, Kelly Bradford, Becca Beiter, and Dr. Jony Kipnis

Thanks to all for their outstanding efforts!

ICYMI: SOM is having a Thanksgiving Holiday Reception-RSVP Needed!

School of Medicine


Monday, November 20th

5:00pm – 7:00pm

                                             The Colonnade Club, Pavilion VII

                                               Faculty and Staff are invited!

Reminder to please RSVP to Hana Vratna at HV6S@virginia.edu by Friday, November 10th


Neural Modulation & Circuits- Symposium Today, November 10

The 2017 International Symposium on Neural Modulation & Circuits is TODAY in Pinn Hall G1/G2 from 7:45 AM-4:30 PM

20 Speakers form across the world! Hosted by Dr. Julius Zhu

Free Admission for UVA Faculty, Students, & Staff!


Nominations for the 2018 MLK Health System Award Due by December 15th

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. University of Virginia Health System Award was established in 2013. The award is presented annually to a student, faculty, or staff member of the Health System who embodies Dr. Martin Luther King’s values and teachings, in cultural competence, health care disparities, or fostering an environment of inclusiveness, in accordance with the institution’s mission and values.

If you have recognized an individual who embodies these qualities in our institution, they are worthy of recognition! Please nominate your colleges!

Nominations are due by 4:00 pm, Friday, December 15th

Please submit a nomination form and letter of support to:

Judy Pointer
Office for Diversity
PO Box 800230
Email: jjp5s@virginia.edu

Flu Shot Clinic for BIMS Students on Thursday!

Since the flu shot is mandatory for School of Medicine BIMS students, there will be a special drop-in Flu Shot Clinic on Thursday for all BIMS students!

FLU SHOT CLINIC for BIMS Graduate Students

This Thursday, Oct. 26

Pinn Hall, 5th floor, Conference Room # 5023

No appointment necessary! Stop by between 1-5 pm and bring your ID badge and Aetna student health insurance card* Sponsored by University of Virginia Department of Student Health


* Students must bring their Aetna Student Health insurance card so their flu shot charge can be billed directly to Aetna Student Health (click here if you need to print your insurance ID card)

On another insurance plan? Pay the $30 fee and request a receipt to submit to your own health insurance company



2017 Pharmacology Research Retreat

The Annual Pharmacology Research Retreat was held on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at Morven Farms. It was a wonderful day of fellowship and sharing of the various research efforts of our students and faculty. One of the most exciting parts of the day were the presentation of various awards. This year’s winners include:

  • Peter C. Isakson Mentoring Award – Michelle Bland
  • Ted W. Rall Award (outstanding paper) – Janelle Weaver (Bayliss lab)
  • Best Predoctoral Presentation – Caroline Franks (Hsu Lab) and A Rosen (Gaultier Lab)
  • Best Postdoctoral Presentation – Yu-Hsin “Eva” Chiu (Bayliss lab) and Joshua Drake (Yan Lab)
  • Best Poster Presentation – Michael Schappe (Desai lab) and Vlad Serbulea (Leitinger lab)

The Pharmacology Department is very proud of all of its’ hardworking, dedicated and scientifically passionate students and faculty! It was evident that a lot of work went into each presentation and they were all well-received by all. Everyone did such an amazing job which made it very difficult to decide the winners of these various awards. Please be sure to congratulate all of our winners when you see them around!

Postdoctoral Opportunity!


Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts is offering an exciting postdoctoral training program.  This program, called TEACRS (Training in Education and Critical Research Skills), is funded by the Institution Research and Career Development Award (IRACDA) mechanism of NIH-GMS.


TEACRS is designed to prepare talented young scientists for the multiple demands of an academic career in biomedical research. Trainees spend on average 75% of their time conducting bench research and 25% of their time in career development activities. Teaching skills are developed through programs involving mentored classroom assignments at minority-serving institutions in the Boston area.  The training is supplemented by workshops on teaching methods, career opportunities in academia, and essential skills such as grant writing, mentoring, and scientific presentations.  The training components are sequenced to allow trainees to balance the activities and to build on previous experiences. TEACRS fellows receive up to four years of salary support and a yearly travel and supply allowance.


The application deadline for positions beginning in the fall of 2018 is March 1. Later applications will be considered if positions are available.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents with no more than two years of postdoctoral training at the time of their appointment to the program. Commitment to the goals of the program, strong academic and research credentials and a demonstrated interest in teaching and mentoring will be important criteria used in the selection process.


For additional information on the TEACRS program and application procedures, please visit the website, or contact Claire Moore, the Program Director, or Jordan Wilkinson, the Program’s Research Administrator with questions.


Reminder: UVA Open Enrollment Starts Today!

As a reminder to Pharm Faculty, University/Classified Staff, and Professional Research Staff:

Please note that Open Enrollment starts today,  October 9 and ends on Oct. 27, 2017.

During this time, you need to review and select your benefits for next year (effective January 1, 2018). Please note that there are significant changes this year – notably:

  • All three plans have the same Maximum Out of Pocket costs (in-network: $5,500 for individual; $11,000 for family).
  • The Choice plan will no longer offer fixed copays for doctors, specialists, and other services such as physical therapy; it is changing to deductible + 10% coinsurance.
  • The Value Plan will still offer fixed copays and the deductible is increasing from $500 to $1000 (per individual) and from $1,000 to $2,000 (for +1 or family).
  • Premiums will increase across the board for Choice and Value plans (no increase in Basic Plan premiums).

You can see more info on the Open Enrollment Website: http://www.hr.virginia.edu/oe

Please plan to attend one of the Open Enrollment Presentations (http://www.hr.virginia.edu/oe/open-enrollment-presentations/). There will be OE presentations in McKim (Sandridge Auditorium) on Tuesday, October 10 @ 8:30 AM, Friday, October 20 @ 2;00 PM, and Tuesday, October 24 @ 8:30 AM.

There will also be a UVA Health and Benefits Expo on Oct. 11 (8:30 am – 2 pm) on the 3rd floor of Newcomb Hall and on October 12 (7 am – 3 pm) in the Medical Center Dining Conference Rooms.

Also, if you have specific questions about your personal health and finance situation, you may wish to speak to the UHR Help Desk (askhr@virginia.edu; 924-0123) or University’s Ombudsman, Mandy Eppard (ALB8TB, 924-1031).


Happening this weekend, Oct. 5-7: UVA Bicentennial Celebration

The University of Virginia will be commemorating its first 200 years this weekend! Please click here to visit the Bicentennial website and learn more about UVA’s achievements over the years, get a glimpse of what the next 200 years is envisioned to be like and to get a full listing of celebratory events happening this weekend!

Zhen Yan in Medical News Today: Exercise promotes better mitochondrial quality

Dr. Zhen Yan is a professor of Medicine at UVA’s SOM and has a joint appointment in the Pharmacology Department. An article that was published in Nature Communications was mentioned in Medical News Today. The article describes a new study that showed how exercise helps the body to keep the cells in the muscles healthy and strong by renewing its cellular mitochondria. Dr. Yan was the head researcher in the study and describes the process by which exercise removes damage mitochondria through an analogy of inspecting and removing damaged cars from city streets;

“Aerobic exercise removes damaged mitochondria in skeletal muscle. If you do it repeatedly, you keep removing the damaged ones. You have a better muscle with better mitochondrial quality. We clean up the clunkers, now the city, the cell, is full of healthy, functional cars.” – Prof. Zhen Yan

Using mice, the study demonstrates that exercise affects the mitochondria in the muscles through “mitophagy” which is the process by which damaged or defective mitochondria are selected and removed.

For more detailed information about the study and to read the full article in Medical News Today click here.

The Pharmacology Department would like to thank Dr. Yan for the impact he and his team researchers have made on Medicine and the understanding of the human body as it relates to muscles, exercise and overall health.