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UM Pharmacology Professor Named Triplett-Behrakis Endowed Professor

By Patrick Smith

University of Mississippi

Joshua Sharp. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

Joshua Sharp, an associate professor of pharmacology with the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy, has been appointed as the school’s Triplett-Behrakis Endowed Professor.

Supported by the Triplett-Behrakis Endowment Fund, the professorship was created to recognize, retain or recruit outstanding faculty members. The faculty member is selected by the school’s dean, in consultation with associate deans.

Sharp, who holds a joint appointment in the university’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, will be the first School of Pharmacy faculty member to hold the title. He will be provided with a $25,000 annual fund to support his research.

“Dr. Sharp is more than deserving of this award,” said Donna Strum, Ole Miss pharmacy dean. “He has excelled in research and scholarship since joining the university in 2015, and I’m excited to see how he can use this professorship to further that work.”

Sharp is both an educator and researcher, actively conducting his own research while mentoring fellow faculty, staff and both graduate and undergraduate students. He was previously recognized by the School of Pharmacy with the Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. Faculty Award in 2021 and the New Investigator Research Award in 2018.

The injection of resources from the professorship will be a boon to Sharp’s research into carbohydrates and open doors to new areas, he said.

“The Triplett-Behrakis Professorship will give our group the flexibility to move our research into new and exciting areas,” Sharp said. “We are just starting to appreciate the role that carbohydrates play in a wide array of human health issues, and I plan on initially using the resources of this endowed professorship to support new development of technologies for understanding how complex carbohydrates interact with proteins to exert their effects.

“If we’re successful, this research will help us understand topics as diverse as how SARS-CoV-2 binds to cells to how certain polysaccharides regulate blood coagulation.”

Sharp also has earned a reputation in the glycoscience sector. He is co-founder and director of the Glycoscience Center for Research Excellence, which brings in more than $3 million in research funding per year. The center supports junior investigators, provides core facilities and has established the university as a leader in glycoscience research.

Sharp will begin his five-year term as Triplett-Behrakis Endowed Professor on July 1.

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