Alexander Kabanov, PhD, DrSci
Alexander “Sasha” Kabanov, PhD, is one of the world leaders in the field of delivery of pharmaceutical drugs and other biologically active compounds using polymeric nanomaterials. His main works are in the areas of micellar enzymology, nanomedicine, drug and gene delivery, as well as biologically active polymers.
Kabanov was born and raised in the Soviet Union and received an MS in chemistry in 1984 and PhD in chemical kinetics and catalysis in 1987 with Professors Andrei Levashov and Karel Martinek at M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University. After that he continued to work at MSU in the chair of chemical enzymology (1987 to 1997) and at the All-Russian Center of Molecular Diagnostics and Therapy (1988 to 1993) where, in the late 1980s, he pioneered the use of polymeric micelles and DNA-polycation complexes (polyplexes) for drug and gene delivery. In 1990, he was awarded a doctor of chemical sciences degree from MSU.
After dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1994, Kabanov moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where he joined the College of Pharmacy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. His work on cellular interactions of Pluronic block copolymers in multidrug-resistant cancer and barrier cells has led to novel modalities for increased brain and oral delivery of small drugs and large polypeptides. He pioneered the field of polymer genomics that investigates the effects of polymers and nanomaterials on cellular responses to biological agents to develop safe and efficient therapeutic modalities. His early work using Pluronic copolymers to overcome multidrug resistance in cancer led to the first Phase I and Phase II clinical trials of polymer micelle doxorubicin, SP1049C, in cancer patients. Parallel to this works, he discovered the concepts of block ionomer complexes and nanogels and contributed extensively to studies on their formation, dispersion stability and transitions. These works has served as a foundation to current use of block copolymers and nanogels for delivery of DNA, siRNA, and proteins.
Kabanov has published more 220 scientific papers, edited five books and journal issue,s and was named an inventor or co-inventor on twenty-six U.S. patents and more than one hundred patents worldwide. He cofounded and sits on the boards of three companies including Supratek Pharma Inc., which has invested over $50 million in development of innovative therapeutics for treatment of cancer. His work was cited more than 11,000 times with an h-index of 59. He chaired numerous scientific meetings, including a Gordon Research Conference on Drug Carriers in Medicine and Biology in 2006 and initiated the International Nanomedicine and Drug Delivery Symposium series held annually since 2003. He also served a program chair of Controlled Release Society Annual Meeting in 2007 and a chair of the Biomaterials and Biointerfaces Study Section at the National Institutes of Health from 2006 to 2008. Kabanov has given more than 230 plenary, keynote, and other invited lectures at conferences, academia and industry including seven invited lectures at the Gordon Research Conferences.
At UNMC, Kabanov was a Parke-Davis Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences and director of the UNMC Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine, director of the NIH COBRE Nebraska Center for Nanomedicine, and codirector of the UNMC Center for Clinical and Translational Research. He has led major research programs involving collaborations with investigators in the United States, Russia, Canada, Japan and Germany. In 2004 he spearheaded the formation of the CDDN, which grew to include thirty-three faculty members and was funded with a $10.6 million NIH COBRE grant, among other awards. Since 1995, his research has been continuously supported by multiple grants from the NIH, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense. In 2010, he became the only chemist awarded $4.5 million “megagrant” by the Russian government to open the Laboratory of Chemical Design of Bionanomaterials at MSU.
Kabanov received the USSR’s highest award for young scientists, the Lenin Komsomol Prize in 1988. He has also received an NSF Career Award in 1995 and an NSF Special Creativity Award in 2002. He received the University of Nebraska’s highest scholarly distinction, the Outstanding Research and Creativity Award in 2007, and was named the UNMC scientist laureate in 2009. He serves on the editorial boards of professional journals including associate editor and member of the expert review panel of Nanomedicine and Future Medicine (UK), section editor in drug delivery and developmental therapeutics of the Journal Neuroimmune of Pharmacology, honorary editorial board member of Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology Biology and Medicine, honorary editorial board member of International Journal of Nanomedicine, and editorial board member of Bioconjugate Chemistry, Journal of Controlled Release, Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, among others.