News and Events

Teaching as a Graduate Student is a day-long workshop series for new graduate teaching assistants, hosted by the Center for Teaching Excellence. These practical and interactive sessions address teaching across disciplines and are designed to help graduate students teach more efficiently and effectively. This year’s workshop will be held Thursday, August 23, 2018, from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, in Nau and Gibson Halls. Thank you for encouraging your new GTAs to participate.

Interested GTAs wanting to attend Teaching as a Graduate Student should register at the link below by no later than August 9, 2018:

The Teaching as a Graduate Student website will be kept up to date with the most current details regarding the day’s events. Workshop sessions focus on GTAs’ immediate needs. Topics include:

  • Getting to know your students
  • Teaching the first day
  • Understanding the principles of learning-centered teaching
  • Negotiating potential pitfalls and difficulties
  • Grading effectively
  • Learning discipline-specific pedagogies such as facilitating discussions, leading labs, and teaching foreign languages

Please direct questions to

Irina Bochkis, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Pharmacology Department at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Dr. Bochkis and her colleagues recently found a new discovery about the affects of aging in our cells. It was found that wrinkles in the nuclear membrane can prevent DNA from being expressed properly. The new discovery is groundbreaking because it could allow doctors to cure or prevent diabetes, fatty liver disease and other metabolic disease, and make it possible to turn back the clock on aging itself. Please read the full article and watch the interview by following the links below:

UVA Connect:

UVA Today:

NBC 29 News:

Way to go, Dr. Bochkis! The Pharmacology Department would like to extend a huge congrats to you for your hard work!  Everyone, please join us in taking the time to congratulate and thank her for these new possibilities in science when you see her around.


The Pharmacology Department would like to congratulate all of the 2018 BIMS Graduates! We would like to give a special congrats to our very own, Peter Klein (Neuroscience, Beenhakker Lab), Kelley McQueeney (Pharmacology, Lazo Lab) and Vlad Serbulea (Pharmacology, Leitinger Lab) as they take the walk of pride and achievement in celebration of all of their hard work and perseverance to see this very special moment come to fruition……go Drs. Klein, McQueeney and Serbulea! Everyone that can, please go out and support them on their special day at the:

    BIMS Graduation

Sunday, May 20th at 12:30pm

      Pinn Hall Auditorium

Reception will follow immediately after the ceremony


Peter, Kelley, and Vlad, The Pharmacology Department is very proud of you!

We wish you all the best!


Message from UVA Human Resources:

To decrease traffic and parking disruptions this Friday, May 18, the University reminds staff and faculty* to leave Grounds at 12 noon.

To that end, we have granted four hours of “comp special” leave to all salaried staff. Those not involved in Final Exercise preparation or related activities should use their leave on the afternoon of May 18, while staff supporting Valedictory and Final Exercises can use it at a future date.

Below is some specific information about the comp special leave and how to use it:

  • Leave is available even though you will not see it in your leave balances. Select “Comp Special Leave” on your timecard and enter four hours on May 18.
  • For those working, do nothing at this time. Your comp special leave balance will update in the next pay period, and the leave will be available to use within a year.

Questions regarding leave use? Contact the HR Solution Center at or 434-243-3344.

*School of Medicine employees involved in clinical operations should consult with their manager as they also may be required to remain on Grounds and use the leave at a future date. Leave for part-time staff will be pro-rated. Medical Center employees are not included in this closure.  


The Pharmacology Department would like to send out a  special thanks to Dr. Kevin Lynch, Vice Chair for Research of Pharmacology and Chair of the PSTG Steering Committee, for his leadership and hard work in successfully securing another competitive renewal of the Pharmacological Sciences Training Grant — for years 44-48, with 7 slots again!

This continues an impressive run of funding for the longest standing training grant at UVA.  Way to go, Dr. Lynch!

Please give Dr. Lynch a huge congrats when you see him around.



SOM Office of Diversity and Inclusion will start launching Diversity Dialogues this month! Wondering what Diversity Dialogues are? Please see below info from Dr. Greg Townsend, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion:


There is a saying: “Nothing great ever comes from comfort zones.” The Diversity Dialogues are designed to encourage honest discussions in a safe environment with people who are in some way, different from us, about the ways that we are different and the ways that we are similar. These facilitated dialogues may feel uncomfortable, but are essential to building understanding and empathy so we can leverage our strengths and differences at work and in our communities.

The Diversity Dialogues are a series of facilitated conversations around specific topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion in our community. The same topic will be explored each month by members of different groups – students, house staff, faculty, or staff.  We will invite one group each month. The topic will rotate every 4 months.

The first topic is “privilege.” What is privilege? Privilege is power, access, opportunity, authority, wealth or advantage granted to some persons, and denied others, based simply on the groups to which they belong, rather than on what they have done. Privilege may be based on any number of personal attributes, such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and others. In this dialogue, we will examine with each other how privilege in its many domains has impacted all of our lives.

Come out and join the conversation on:

Friday, April 27, 2018
BIMS 1023
Lunch will be provided– please RSVP to if you plan to attend!

Alex Keller, a Pharmacology Student in Brant Isakson’s Lab, is making headlines for being the recipient of several awards recently. Alex will attend the 2018 Experimental Biology conference in San Diego from April 21-25, where as one of 10 recipients of the Zweifach Student Travel Award, he will give a poster presentation at the Microcirculatory Society’s meeting, in addition to his conference-wide poster session.  These awards consist of a certificate and $750 travel award to encourage recipients’ participation at Experimental Bio. One other UVA graduate student, Michaela Rikard, in Shayn Peirce-Cottler’s Lab (BME), also received the award.

Alex is also one of three finalists for the 2018 American Physiological Society Cardiovascular Section Outstanding Predoctoral Trainee Award. This recognition highlights outstanding graduate trainees who are on a trajectory to make meritorious contributions to the scientific areas represented by the Cardiovascular Section of the APS, and also comes with travel support for Experimental Bio participation. While there, Alex will be giving an oral presentation of his research in the Cardiovascular Section’s Young Investigator Symposium and will compete with the other finalists for the award and a cash prize.

Lastly, Alex won second place in the GBS Symposium Poster Competition that was held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. Chris Medina, a trainee of the Pharmacological Sciences Training Grant in Kodi Ravichandran’s Lab, also won a poster award with first place at the symposium – a strong showing by our Pharmacology graduate students!

Please give Alex a huge congrats when you see him for all of his hard work and recent success in his research! Way to go, Alex!



Vlad Serbulea makes headlines again! Just last month he was the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Pharmacology Graduate Student Award. As part of receiving this award,  Vlad was also entered to be the department’s nominee for the Michael J. Peach Outstanding Graduate Student Award and Jill E. Hungerford Prize in Biomedical Sciences. These prestigious awards recognize the accomplishments of our most talented and creative senior students across the School of Medicine.

The GBS Symposium was held on Tuesday, April 12, 2018 and Vlad was named the recipient of the Micheal J. Peach Outstanding Graduate Student Award. This achievement really speaks to Vlad’s commitment to embody enthusiasm for research and the principles of sharing and collaboration that where central to Dr. Peach’s approach to science and medicine. The Pharmacology Department is very proud of his hard work and dedication to research that this award was intended to recognize.

Excellent job, Vlad! Please give him a huge congrats when you see him around the Pharmacology Department.

Green Labs needs your help spreading the word about Earth Week….(next week!)……..

Earth Week 2018 – People, Planet, Progress

Earth Week is a UVA tradition that celebrates the planet we all share and the people we share it with. Students, faculty, staff, and community members are all invited to take part in any of the 25+ events happening April 16-22. Meet your fellow community members who are leading the way to reverse climate change, explore Charlottesville’s beautiful natural resources, learn how you can advance social and environmental sustainability, and much more. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For the full schedule and event descriptions, visit

Tues 4/17 – Earth Week Expo: 100 Climate Solutions, 11am-2pm, Newcomb Ballroom

Wed 4/18 – Intersectional Sustainability Lunch & Learn, 12-1pm, Newcomb Kaleidoscope Room

Wed 4/18 – SustainaBanquet Dinner & Awards Ceremony, 6-8pm, Newcomb Ballroom

**Take 5 minutes to nominate someone for the annual UVA Sustainability Award (due April 11)

Fri 4/20 – Tech Takeback, 8am-4pm, The Park at North Grounds

Sat 4/21 – Reservoir Tour & Trek, 1-5pm, Ragged Mountain Reservoir *please carpool*

Sun 4/22 – Charlottesville Eco-Fair, 11am-4pm, IX Art Park

Sun 4/22 – Cinema Under the Stars: “Moana”, 8-10pm, OHill Field (Rain location: Ern Commons)

For a copy of the flyer click here


The Isakson Award recognizes young faculty who provide excellent mentoring to their graduate students. This award is made possible thanks to a generous gift from Pharmacology alumnus David Goodman, Ph.D.(class of 1993). Dr. Goodman is the CEO of Pharmascience Inc. and this award honors his Ph.D. mentor, Peter Isakson (former Vice President, Abbott Laboratories).

Dr. Michelle Bland was nominated by one of her first graduate student, Brittany Martinez in 2017, for her outstanding mentorship. The 2017 Pharmacology Retreat was held on October 5th, 2017 where it was announced that Dr. Bland was indeed the recipient of the Isakson Award.

The Isakson Award includes a financial component, which will be used to send Brittany to the Gordon Research Conference in July. Congratulations, Brittany!