School of Pharmacy faculty members are expected to engage in scholarship consistent
with our mission and to expand the scientific knowledge associated with the practice of pharmacy and
medicine. We seek to expose students to many different aspects of pharmacy practice
and the pharmaceutical sciences, including clinical and basic research.
PCOM advances biomedical, pharmaceutical and clinical research initiatives that address the evolving needs of patients and society. Students work closely with faculty to develop and support individual student growth and engagement in research. Research may be undertaken during the academic year, over the summer and as projects conducted as part of APPEs during the fourth professional year, as well as non-curricular work based opportunities. Non-curricular opportunities can be funded through the Federal Work Study (FWS) program for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.
The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences has made significant strides following the construction of a modern multi-user pharmaceutical research laboratory at PCOM Georgia.
Research within the department is rapidly growing with the support of the School of Pharmacy and PCOM. Expanded and well-equipped laboratory space facilitates the research interests of the faculty and provides scholarship opportunities to students across diverse areas including autoimmune, cardiovascular, neuroscience and neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and the molecular basis for treatment, drug development and target identification, the use of natural products to fight cancer, obesity, hepatoregeneration, cardiovascular regulation and disease, biomedical imaging, biomarker identification and translational bioinformatics.
A solid foundation of research has been built on administrative support, productive collaborations with nearby institutions including the University of Georgia and Emory University as well as successful competition for intramural and extramural grants. Research opportunities in the department will continue to grow with the addition of a vivarium at PCOM Georgia and further expansion of existing laboratory space.
Central to the mission of the department is academic and research training of students. PCOM students participate in research with faculty through the federal work-study program, as volunteers, through the Graduate Program tracks and APPE elective rotations.
The focus of the Department of Pharmacy Practice is on creating, through research, and disseminating in the literature, scientific knowledge about the effective, safe, and economical use of medications. Within the department, practicing clinicians focus on evaluation of drug regimens and clinical outcomes of patients through partnerships with individual hospitals, hospital systems, and outpatient clinics. Administrative and social science faculty within the department utilizes extensive corporate and governmental databases to evaluate disease state, medication usage, hospitalizations and pharmacoeconomic considerations based on individual treatment regimens. Students have opportunity to work with departmental faculty on research projects, presenting results as well as manuscript production.
Part of the mission of the department is to educate and train students to become clinicians and enter the profession of pharmacy. To this end, faculty also engages in research of teaching, learning and education to improve pharmacy education in the classroom, teaching skills laboratories, and experiential rotations.
Dr. Wang's research is focused on drug discovery and development to identify potential drug candidates with anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. Watch the video to learn about Dr. Wang's research on multiple myeloma.
Click the links below to learn more about faculty researchers within the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the Department of Pharmacy Practice.
Dr. Huang’s research interest lies in brain physiology and pathophysiology. Currently his main focus is on the mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, and especially on the regulation of the NMDA subtype of the glutamate receptors. "NMDA receptors", as they are called, play critical roles in learning and memory, and in the development of the brain. As NMDA receptors are also critically important in brain disorders, his studies have significant implications that extend to a broad range of pathological processes in the central nervous system, including brain and spinal cord injury, epilepsy, chronic pain, stroke, Alzheimer disease, and schizophrenia.READ MORE
Dr. Rayalam has worked in the areas of obesity, body weight regulation, phytochemicals and adipocyte biochemistry for over eight years. Her research interests include studying the adipocyte life cycle and to understand the interaction of adipocytes with other cell types as an approach to address several problems associated with obesity; developing novel treatment strategies for obesity by inducing transdifferentiation of white to beige adipocytes and to inhibit lipid accumulation in white adipocytes; and identifying combinations of phytochemicals and vitamins that have synergistic anti-adipogenic effects with an ultimate goal of developing pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals for prevention and treatment of obesity and associated disorders.READ MORE
In his search for clinical biomarkers for the early stages of congestive heart failure, Dr. Sharma’s research is focused on apoptosis and the signaling cascade that occur with sepsis-induced myocardial dysfunction. In addition to intramural resources, Dr. Sharma’s research had been funded through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of NIH, American Heart Association and Oral & Maxillofacial Research Foundation.READ MORE
One of the major focuses of Dr. Shashidharamurthy's research is to delineate the molecular mechanism(s) lipocalin-2 (Lcn2) during various autoimmune/inflammatory disorders such as arthritis and lupus. This may eventually lead to development of novel therapeutic approaches. Dr. Shashidharamurthy also conducts research focused on the individual role of FcGamma receptor and complement proteins during the pathogenesis of immune-complex (IC) mediated vasculitis (funded by American Heart Association), attenuation of IC-mediated inflammation by prostaglandin E2 receptor antagonists and synergistic effect of IC’s and TLR ligands during IC-mediated inflammatory disorders.READ MORE
Dr. Wang is interested in the research and development of new medicines that affect the cardiovascular system, metabolism homeostasis and central nervous system. Previously, Dr. Wang’s research had been funded by NIEHS/NIH, NIH and CV Therapeutics, Inc (California). At PCOM, Dr. Wang’s research has been funded by intramural research programs such as the CCDA center and the CRSO office.READ MORE
Dr. Eric Wang’s research interest is focused on the drug discovery and development to identify potential drug candidates with anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties. He has presented his research in various national and international conferences and published peer-reviewed articles in different pharmaceutical fields including medicinal chemistry, molecular pharmacology, pharmaceutical analysis, and pharmacokinetics.READ MORE
Dr. Wu is actively involved in the research laboratory at PCOM Georgia. His research projects focus on improving oral absorption and targeting of anti-tumor and antiviral agents. He has published several research papers in these areas and presented his work at a number of national meetings.READ MORE
Dr. Holaway’s areas of scholarship and teaching are primary care pharmacy practice, chronic disease management and innovative pharmacy education methodologies and programs.READ MORE
Dr. John’s therapeutic interests are in the areas of cardiovascular and anti-coagulation management.
Dr. Lee's areas of clinical and research interests include primary care, ambulatory care, anticoagulation care, cardiovascular disease, medication therapy management (MTM), and interprofessional education. He has given professional presentations and published several peer-reviewed articles on diabetes and anticoagulation managements.
Dr. Mukherjee is currently working on multiple secondary databases of the USA to understand how socio-demographic characteristics of general population is related to out-of-pocket expenditure for prescription medications used in different disease states.READ MORE
Dr. Reece's area of clinical and research specialty is endocrinology with a focus on diabetes. She has given podium and poster presentations on diabetes at regional and national meetings and has published several peer reviewed manuscripts.
Dr. Rollins' research interests include pharmaceutical marketing, direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, consumer behavior and community pharmacy practice. Dr. Rollins is a journal referee for the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association and has presented and published on numerous subjects in pharmacy practice, including drug advertising, patient satisfaction, patient drug information and pharmacy simulation software.READ MORE
Dr. Smallwood has been an investigator or co-investigator of more than 40 human clinical trials. His research interest includes immunology, transplant, and diabetes with his most recent work being with the Immune Tolerance Network (ITN) using immunosuppressants in treating Type 1 diabetes which is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) of the National Institute of Health (NIH).READ MORE
Dr. Thomas's research and teaching interests include development and implementation of specialized pharmacy education curriculum and practica, and therapeutics in oncology and cancer pain management.
Dr. Varner's research interests include general medicine with emphasis on pharmacotherapy for cardiovascular diseases, anticoagulation, thromboembolic disorders and related drug-disease state management.
For more information about PCOM School of Pharmacy research efforts, please contact: