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David B. Volkin earns inaugural Ronald T. Borchardt Professorship

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

LAWRENCE — Distinguished Professor David Volkin of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry has earned the inaugural Ronald T. Borchardt Professorship, the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy has announced this week.

The professorship, created by private gifts to KU Endowment, honors the career of Professor Emeritus Ron Borchardt, who retired this year. Former colleagues and students joined together to donate more than $1.8 million to pay tribute to Borchardt, his research, and his teaching career.

During his academic career, Borchardt’s research interests included drug delivery and drug design. He is particularly known for his contributions to the study of drug transport across the intestinal mucosa and the blood-brain barrier. He has received numerous awards and honors, nationally and internationally, for his teaching and research accomplishments. He is the author or co-author of more than 500 scientific publications and 460 abstracts, the editor of 10 books and the series editor of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (14 published volumes), and Biotechnology: Pharmaceutical Aspects (nine published volumes).

“Ron Borchardt is among the School of Pharmacy’s most respected researchers, so we wanted to set the bar high right from the start," said Christian Schöneich, pharmaceutical chemistry department chair. “Choosing David Volkin as the inaugural recipient does just that.”

School of Pharmacy Dean Ken Audus describes Volkin as exceptional, even by KU School of Pharmacy standards.

“David is among the world’s elite researchers,” Audus said. “We’re fortunate to have him on our faculty, and I’m pleased that he will be the first Ronald T. Borchardt Distinguished Professor.”

Volkin joined the KU faculty in 2010. He is also director of the Macromolecule and Vaccine Stabilization Center (MVSC) at KU. His research interests include characterization, stabilization, formulation and delivery of biopharmaceuticals and vaccines. He came to KU with 20 years of research and development experience in the vaccine and biopharmaceutical industry (Merck & Co. and Centocor/J&J). He led analytical and formulation groups that brought dozens of vaccine and protein drug candidates into human clinical trials, including five vaccines and three monoclonal antibodies approved worldwide for commercial use by regulatory agencies. He is co-author of more than 120 scientific papers and book chapters and co-inventor on 15 U.S. patents.  He was awarded Fellow status in the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in 2013. 

“Ron has created an impressive legacy at the KU School of Pharmacy, not only through his research and mentorship, but also through the personal and professional relationships he has formed over the years,” Volkin said. “It’s truly an honor to be part of that network and to serve as the inaugural Ronald T. Borchardt Professorship.”

KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.


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2nd among all schools of pharmacy in National Institutes of Health funding
Brings more than $20 million in external funding into the state each year
7 of 19 cancer drugs formulated through the National Cancer Institute were developed at the KU School of Pharmacy
3,000 free flu shots given to needy Kansans during the past 5 years
4,000 living alumni, 63 percent of them living and working in Kansas
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