News and Events

In light of this Saturday’s “Unite the Right” rally, the University is offering a day of events displaying its commitment to mutual respect and inclusion. If you are looking for an event to attend, consider coming on grounds to participate in a day of reflective dialogue. Please visit the following link for a full list of sessions that will take place throughout the day:

Caroline Franks, a graduate student, co-authored an article, The Ligand Binding Landscape of Diacyglycerol Kinasaes,  by Dr. Ku-Lang Hsu, Assistant Professor of Chemistry at University of Virginia, that was recently published in Cell Chemical Biology. The research presented in the article will soon be highlighted on the ASBMB Lipid Corner website  as a significant advancement in the field. Please click here to view a video by Caroline and Dr. Hsu where they explain their work on DGKs.  The Pharmacology Department sends a huge congrats to Caroline on this major accomplishment!

Congratulations to Yu-Hsin (Eva) Chiu(Bayliss Lab) on her recent “mic drop.” Eva received the First Oral Award for best platform presentation by a postdoctoral fellow at the International Gap Junction Conference in Glasgow last week, where she gave a talk entitled “A quantized mechanism for caspase- and alpha1 adrenoceptor-mediated activation of Pannexin 1 channels.” Along with a nice certificate, Eva received a pewter Quaich, from which she will be happy to share fine Scotch in celebration with anyone who sees fit to pour her a wee dram.

Please join the Pharmacology Dept. in acknowledging Eva when see her around for her outstanding achievement!

The deadline is fast approaching for the annual Teaching as a Graduate Student Workshop for incoming GTAs. Registration by Wednesday, August 9th is required by all that plan to attend.


Teaching as a Graduate Student(formerly known as the August Teaching Workshop) is a day-long workshop series for new graduate teaching assistants, hosted by the Center for Teaching Excellence. The 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

These practical and interactive sessions address teaching across disciplines and are designed to help graduate students teach more efficiently and effectively. For questions about the workshop sessions, please contact 

Since 1990, nearly 5,200 GTAs have found this workshop to be helpful in launching their UVA careers and building community. We encourage all GTAs to take advantage of this opportunity!

Please visit the link below to register:


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!

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

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

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 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:


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: