Nair to be honored for research excellence

Nair to be honored for research excellence

Athens, Ga. – Vasu Nair of the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy will receive the prestigious Volwiler Research Achievement Award this year from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. This award annually recognizes outstanding research by an individual holding a full-time appointment at a U.S. school of pharmacy. The presentation will be made at the AACP 2007 annual conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., in July.

Nair is the college’s William H. Terry senior professor, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, head of the department of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, and director of the UGA Center for Drug Discovery. He joined the college faculty in 2002 after a long tenure at the University of Iowa where he was named UI Foundation Distinguished Professor in 1993.

For the last 25 years his research work, which has been funded by multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies, has focused on drug discovery targeted against infectious diseases caused by DNA and RNA viruses. Nair’s most recent drug discovery achievement is that of a biologically validated inhibitor of HIV integrase, which exhibits spectacular anti-HIV activity. At present, there are no FDA-approved, integrase-based drugs for AIDS.

“Acknowledging top professionals is a way for our association to pay tribute for serving and contributing to our mission,” says Lucinda L. Maine, executive vice president of AACP. “The field as a whole is celebrating Vasu’s outstanding work and achievement. By telling his story, we are educating others about the important role pharmacy educators play in improving the health of people all across the country.”

Nair has published more than 430 papers and abstracts in his field, given nearly 300 presentations and supervised the work of more than 130 researchers. His honors include a distinguished scholar award, a Science Medal, and the 2001 Midwest Award of the American Chemical Society. In 1998, Nair was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors of the International Society for Antiviral Research and has held four pharmaceutical consultantships in drug discovery. He has served on the editorial boards of four scientific journals and as a member and chair of several National Institutes of Health Study Sections.

The Volwiler award consists of a gold medal as well as a $12,500 monetary award. Sponsored by Abbott Laboratories, the award was established to honor the late Ernest H. Volwiler, former president and research director of Abbot Laboratories.

The American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy is a national organization whose mission is to serve its member colleges, schools and their faculties by acting as their advocate on a national level. The association is committed to education and scholarship for improving drug therapy.