Angela Kashuba, Faculty Service Award citation

Angela Kashuba. Photo by Ray Black III

At the pharmacy school’s 50-year pinning ceremony of a Carolina Alumni board member, Eshelman School of Pharmacy Dean Angela Kashuba suggested they schedule a lunch date. Kashuba proposed they meet at her office. When the day arrived, the alumna had butterflies about having a one-on-one with the head of the nation’s No. 1 pharmacy school. But Kashuba dispensed with protocol and immediately put her guest at ease by ordering salads from a Publix grocery store. The two chatted and got to know one another over a healthy lunch, stress-free, observed only by a beaded replica of Rameses that stood guard on the credenza in Kashuba’s office.

Such down-to-earth approachability belies Kashuba’s impressive accomplishments throughout her career. She was born and raised in Toronto, a first-generation college student. Her mother knew a pharmacist and thought that would be a good career path for her daughter, and Kashuba complied. Due to a tight budget, she commuted about three hours a day from her home to attend classes at the University of Toronto in downtown, where she received her bachelor’s of science degree in pharmacy. Initially, she practiced as a critical care pharmacist at a Toronto hospital before enrolling in SUNY-Buffalo for her doctorate in pharmacy, where she continued to work a few jobs to support her studies.

With her Pharma doctorate, Kashuba interviewed coast to coast for research positions. Carolina was the only university to specifically tell her whom to talk with when she said she wanted to pursue collaborative research with the medical school. She joined the pharmacy school faculty in 1997.

Dr. Myron Cohen was among those who interviewed her, and he admits, “We twisted her career.” Cohen persuaded Kashuba to help him with his HIV research. She began developing tools and strategies to determine where small-molecule HIV drugs traveled in the body. She generated a tremendous amount of data in a short period of time, and within a couple years she had a reputation as one of the leading HIV pharmacologists in the country. She was known for her research veracity, creativity and management of difficult situations. “She’s unflappable,” Cohen said.

Researchers in a highly competitive field can be quite critical of one another, but Cohen said he’s never heard her challenged as a scientist or a leader.

Kashuba was awarded the first grant she applied for, unusual for a new researcher, and she established her own lab. Her work was pivotal in Cohen’s team discovering a treatment to prevent HIV, which in 2011 was deemed the Breakthrough of the Year by the journal Science.

In 2013, Kashuba was named the John A. and Margaret P. McNeill Jr. Distinguished Professor. She chaired the Division of Pharmacotherapy and Experimental Therapeutics from 2015 until she became the pharmacy school’s first female dean, in 2019. She continues to direct the Clinical Pharmacology and Analytical Chemistry Core at UNC’s Center for AIDS Research. In 2020, she received the Rawls-Palmer Progress in Medicine Award from the American Society for Clinical Pharmacologists and Therapeutics. Most recently, she was named co-chair of the Walgreens Deans Advisory Council, which supports pharmacists as they provide care to their communities.

During her four years as Eshelman dean, the school’s research enterprise has doubled. Kashuba has prioritized diversity, equity and inclusion in the pharmacy school’s strategic plan. She continues to launch collaborative projects across campus. And she has recommitted to programs serving the community and the state as well as benefiting students’ careers.

As dean, Kashuba must balance many competing demands. She wears many hats, said Carolina Alumni board member Dr. Martha Peck ’73 (’77 MS, ’04 MD), “sometimes switching instantly, sometimes all at the same time.”

Kashuba’s strong work ethic and commitment to excellence stand out for Kelly Collins, the pharmacy school’s associate dean for advancement. Collins recalled an event Kashuba had dreamed up and organized to recognize distinguished faculty. She wanted it to be a rousing success, down to the last detail. When tape covering the wires on the stage was the wrong color and too visible, the dean of the top pharmacy school in the country got down on her hands and knees and colored the tape black with a Sharpie.

A true servant leader cited for her moral courage, Kashuba embraces the adage that much can be accomplished by those who don’t care about getting credit. Impact drives her. She has continued to conduct her research, even after she took on the deanship, though with the complexity of balancing her time, she understands why most deans don’t. But she said her research is “a happy place for me.”

Kashuba may be internationally recognized for her research, but she tends to deflect attention from herself and give credit to others, according to Cohen.

“She sees herself as a little cog in a big wheel,” he said. “I see her as the wheel.”


The Faculty Service Award is presented by the Carolina Alumni Board of Directors.

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