BOV promotes four Pharmacology Faculty effective July 1

The Pharmacology Department would like to send out a huge congrats to four faculty that will receive well-deserved promotions effective July 1. Congratulations to Julius Zhu, Ruth Stornetta and Zhen Yan that will be promoted from Assistant Professor to Professor. We would also like to send out a warm congrats to Michael Scott who will be promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor.

Please be sure to congratulate each them on this major accomplishment!

Kimberly Kelly: Faculty Entrepreneur develops new cancer drug

Kimberly Kelly is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and a preceptor on the Pharmacology Training Grant at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. She and her colleague, Julien Dimastromatteo made the headlines of UVA Today for their development of two products for diagnosing and treating of plectin-positive cancers through a company called iTi Health which was founded by Dr. Kelly in 2010.

Dr. Kelly started the company after discovering, in her lab at UVA in 2008, a protein, called plectin, which is found on the cell surface of certain cancer cells, but not on healthy cells while she was researching pancreatic cancer and has since discovered it in other cancers, such as ovarian, head and neck, and esophageal cancers. Kelly founded the company to help take the research from the laboratory to consumer shelves for use a patient care. Kelly’s team has been working on a new drug treatment for the plectin-positive cancers in hopes that the treatment can eliminate cancer cells while avoiding damage to healthy cells, thus reducing side effects to the cancer patient in which chemotherapy has not been able to accomplish.

Please click the link below for the full story:


John Lazo in the news: Bridging disciplines in an effort to combat cancer

The VirginiaCancerRX Symposium makes local headline news.  According to Charlottesville NEWSPLEX(CBS 19 News), Nearly 140 cancer experts met at the University of Virginia for a two-day conference to explore treatment options and collaborate with other universities to find ways to approach cancer research.

Dr. John Lazo expressed the need for funding of cancer research as less than one in five research projects get grant funding each year. However, he and other researchers are quite optimistic for the future as the realization of how important research is to coming up with a cure for cancer has increased to the American people over the past few years.

Lazo emphasizes the importance of collaborations with colleagues and facilities to help when there is a lack in funding or resources.

Please visit the following link for the full story:




BIMS Graduates: Congratulations Salome Boroda!

The Pharmacology Department would like to congratulate all of the 2017 BIMS Graduates! We would like to give a special congrats to one of our very own, Salome Baroda as she takes the walk of pride and achievement in celebration of all of her hard work and perseverance to see this very special moment come to fruition…..go Dr. Boroda! Everyone that can, please go out and support Salome on her special day at the:

                  BIMS Graduation 🎓 

                               This Saturday, May 20th at Noon

                                         Pinn Hall Auditorium

                              Reception to follow in Pinn 2ABC

                                            Salome, Pharm is very proud of you!



Congratulations Jeremy Shaw and Ellen Mintz!

 The Pharmacology Department would like to congratulate the new GBS Officers for 2017-2018 academic year:

President: Victoria Osinski (rising 4th Year | McNamara Lab)

Vice President: Jeremy Shaw (rising 4th Year | Kester Lab)

Secretary: Ellen Mintz (rising 4th Year | Christ Lab)

                                                     Treasurer: Cassie Robertson (rising 2nd Year | Rich Lab)

Jeremy Shaw is a Pathology student in Mark Kester’s Lab and Ellen Mintz is a Pathology student and PSTG trainee in George Christ’s Lab. Please help us acknowledge Jeremy and Ellen for this great accomplishment when you see them roaming about in Pinn Hall!



Julius Zhu in UVA Today and other News Outlets for his Lead in Research Into Cancer, Genetic Diseases

Julius Zhu, Associate Professor of Pharmacology lead the team at the UVA School of Medicine that created a new technique that will let a single cancer research lab do the work of dozens, dramatically accelerating the search for new treatments and cures. In addition to benefiting cancer research, the technique will also benefit research into every disease driven by gene mutations that will enable customized treatments for patients in a way never before. Congratulations, Dr. Zhu for this ground breaking achievement in research! Click here to read the full article.

For other news media that captured this story please visit:

NBC29 Night News (

CBS news (

HealthIT Analytics News (

UPI News (

Medical Press (

Science News (

UVA Today (


Congratulations Leon DeLalio!

CVTG alumni and Pharmacology graduate student in Brant Isakson’s Lab, Leon DeLalio, received the Notice of Award  for his F31,(“Alpha1-adrenergic Pannexin1 activation is mediated by SRC family kinases),” today. In addition to receiving the NOA, Leon just returned from Orlando where the National Kidney Foundation flew him down to present his work on pannexins in the kidney. There he received 4th place on his presentation at the National Kidney Foundation Annual Meeting among all other fellows, graduate students and post docs. Excellent job Leon! Please be sure to congratulate Leon when you see him for his outstanding accomplishments!

March for Science in DC this weekend!

If you haven’t made plans to attend the March for Science in Washington, DC, now’s the time! In addition to the local march, the Cville March for Science will be taking three buses to Washington, DC this Saturday, April 22, 2017. Buses will leave from Scott Stadium at 6AM and return in the evening. Seats are $20 for students and postdocs and $50 for everyone else.  For students and postdocs that need financial assistance in paying the fee, please contact Dan Engel @

For more info on the march and to purchase tickets please visit the following links:

The National March for Science:

C’ville March for Science Facebook page:

Purchase Bus Tickets:





VirginiaCancerRx Symposium-Registration Deadline May 1st

The VirginiaCancerRx  Symposium will be held May 30, 2017 – May 31, 2017. The Symposium follows the VaDDC’s successful VirginiaBrainRX meeting in Richmond, and will focus on current challenges and opportunities in drug discovery and development in cancer. The meeting will include keynote addresses from national leaders in the academy, industry and foundations. Researchers from within the Commonwealth will also present their work in oral and poster sessions.  The registration deadline for this event is May 1, 2017.

For more information please visit the Academic Drug Discovery Consortium website or contact John Lazo at

Don’t miss out: UVA PSC Listening Session Thursday, March 30

Please see following message from David S. Wilkes, Dean of UVA School of Medicine:

If you have ideas, concerns and/or a vision for UVA during the decade ahead, please plan to attend a special listening session and share your thoughts and perspective on Thursday (March 30) from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. in Leonard Sandridge Auditorium, McKim Hall.


Open to all Health System team members, the listening session will be facilitated by members of the University’s Presidential Search Committee. During the session, you will be encouraged to share your ideas and to identify the factors and personal attributes you think are important in selecting the next UVA president.


If you cannot attend the listening session and would like to contribute your ideas or participate in another outreach event, below is a list of other ways you can participate in the Presidential Search.



Date: Thursday, March 30

Time: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Location: Leonard Sandridge Auditorium (McKim Hall)



L.D. Britt, MD, MPH, member of the UVA Board of Visitors and chair of the Medical Center Operating Board

Margaret “Mimi” Foster Riley, chair of the Faculty Senate and Professor of Law, Public Health Sciences and Public Policy


Other participation options:

Visit the presidential search website

See when and where additional outreach events are scheduled here.

Share your thoughts by accessing a brief survey here.

Send an email with any input that you might have to

Nominate someone for the position by forwarding that nomination to the recruiting firm of Isaacson, Miller at