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Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery Centers Divisions Faculty Pharmacoengineering and Molecular Pharmaceutics,
Grayson Mendenhall
July 12, 2007

Russell Mumper, PhD, an internationally recognized leader in the pharmaceutical applications of nanotechnology, has joined the UNC School of Pharmacy as the John A. McNeill Distinguished Professor.

Mumper, an expert in vaccine and cancer drug delivery systems, will serve as the director of the School’s new Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery. The CNDD is part of a larger nanomedicine initiative at UNC that bridges disciplines in medicine, chemistry, and pharmacy. The center’s central mission is to quickly and safely translate new nanotechnologies into human clinical trials to improve the quality of life. The CNDD will bring together scientists to create nano-scale pharmaceutical innovations, such as vaccines to prevent cancer, sensors to detect cancer and heart disease, and therapeutics to seek out and destroy tumors and their metastases.

“My research focus has been translating pharmaceutical inventions from our labs into clinical investigations to improve patient care,” says Mumper, who comes to UNC from the University of Kentucky. “This requires a highly collaborative environment, and UNC is clearly one of the best places for this. My family and I are thrilled to be in Chapel Hill, to be part of something special, and to contribute to UNC’s pursuit of excellence.”

Mumper is the author of more than 165 peer-reviewed papers and abstracts, has more than thirty awarded or pending patent applications, and serves on the editorial board of three scientific journals. In addition, he is a cofounder of NanoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Four Tigers LLC, both based on technologies developed in his labs.

“Russ Mumper is a significant addition to our division and School,” says Leaf Huang, PhD, who chairs the Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics. “His leadership in building up the program in nanotechnology for drug delivery will be an important milestone.”

Before coming to UNC, Mumper had been a faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in UK’s College of Pharmacy since 1999, serving as the department’s vice chair from 2004 to 2007. While at UK, Mumper received more than $6 million in research grants and contracts as principal investigator and more than $8 million total.

From 1999 to 2006, he was the associate director of UK’s Center for Pharmaceutical Science and Technology, a unique university-based, FDA-registered GMP pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. He led the CPST’s efforts to complete full product development that led to the successful submission of seven Investigational New Drugs and the commencement of human clinical trials with both industrial and university partners.

“Dr. Mumper is an outstanding addition to our faculty,” says Bob Blouin, dean of the School. “His expertise, dedication, and experience, both in industry and in academia, will help us tremendously in our ongoing effort to build a research enterprise that will translate into improvements in patient care.”

Mumper received a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences and a BA in chemistry from UK. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Bioengineering at the University of Washington in 1992, he spent seven years in product development in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, working for companies in North Carolina and Texas before returning to academia at his alma mater in 1999.

In 2006, he received the AAPS Lipid-Based Drug Delivery Award sponsored by Gattefossé Corporation and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. In 2007, he was recognized by the UK Alumni Association as one of six “Great Teachers” at UK, the oldest continuously given award for teaching at the university.

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