GBS Sponsored Faculty Chat: 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Grad Student

Calling all Grad Students! The first GBS Faculty Chat of the year will be taking place this Friday, July 21st from 12-1 in the BEC. Faculty chats are an excellent opportunity to meet faculty in an informal setting and learn what made them successful scientists. This week Dr. Chris Deppmann will give a talk titled “7 Habits of a Highly Effective Grad Student.” Lunch will be provided, so take a break from lab and come learn how you can be a more effective graduate student.

Speaker: Dr. Chris Deppmann
Topic: 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Grad Student
Time: 12-1pm
Location: BEC

Contact Pharmacology Grad Student and GBS Academic Committee Co-Chair Clint Upchurch for more info!

Pay raises are coming soon….

2017 Pay Raises will be effective this month for many UVA employees. Please visit the University Human Resources website for more details.

Lets be united in promoting the well-being of all in our community

A message from Richard P. Shannon, MD,  Executive VP for Health Affairs:

Dear Team Members,

As our community prepares for the upcoming KKK rally on July 8, UVA Health System stands ready to deliver on its mission to promote and support equity, diversity and inclusiveness. As President Sullivan shared, beliefs that endorse hatred, exclusion and intolerance are not only condemned here, but they are in absolute contradiction to our values. Placing our patients’ needs first, caring for each other and basing all of our actions on our ASPIRE values is the foundation of our roles as healers who promote the well-being of all in our community.

As a united Health System, we choose to ensure we provide the care and services our community needs. To that end, plans and resources are in place to care for our patients and you this weekend:

  • UVA Health System Security will increase staffing
  • Faculty and Employee Assistance Program is available 24/7 and is part of the Health System’s Incident Management Team. 434.243.2643
  • Team members traveling to and from the Medical Center are strongly encouraged to avoid affected areas, including the Downtown Mall
  • Health System Emergency Management, in collaboration with our UVA and city safety partners, will continue to monitor the situation to ensure our preparedness

As a community of healers, we encourage you to:

  • Focus on the care of patients, treating illness and training the healthcare workforce of the future
  • Engage in the planned alternative community events that celebrate a respect for all individuals |
  • Be a symbol of healing, compassion and respect in our community

Together, UVA Health System stands firmly with our University colleagues against any expression of hatred or bigotry and celebrates our values, especially those promoting professionalism, integrity, respect and excellence. Thank you for all you do to care for our patients and uphold the values of UVA Health System.


Richard P. Shannon, MD

Executive Vice President for Health Affairs

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!