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Alexander V. Kabanov

Adjunct Professor Director Mescal Swain Ferguson Distinguished Prof

Alexander V. Kabanov, Ph.D., Dr.Sci.

Director, Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery

Mescal Swain Ferguson Distinguished Professor, Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery

Adjunct Professor, UNC Department of Biomedical Engineering



125 Mason Farm Road, Marsico Hall, CB# 7362, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-7362

Alexander “Sasha” Kabanov, Ph.D., Dr.Sci., is the Mescal S. Ferguson Distinguished Professor and director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and co-director of the Carolina Institute for Nanomedicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kabanov graduated from M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) in 1984, where he also received Ph.D. in 1987 and D.Sc. in 1990. He started scientific career in Soviet Union and continued it in United States first, in the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska (1994-2012) where he founded the first academic nanomedicine center in the United States (2004-), and then in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2012-).

Kabanov has conducted pioneering research in the nanomedicine field including the use of polymeric micelles, DNA/polycation complexes, block ionomer complexes, nanogels, nanoparticle-macrophage carriers and exosomes for delivery of small drugs, nucleic acids, and polypeptides to treat cancers and diseases of the central nervous system. Kabanov published seminal work on the use of polymeric micelles for drug delivery. He co-invented the first polymeric micelle drug to enter clinical trials to treat cancer and has been instrumental in establishing polymeric micelles as a clinically approved drug delivery platform. He was among the first to use polycations and later, cationic block copolymers for the delivery of nucleic acids into a cell and evaluated core-shell polyelectrolyte complexes of nucleic acids and polypeptides known today as “polyplexes” for the therapeutic drug delivery. Kabanov holds 36 United States patents and over 50 foreign patents. He co-founded several companies focusing on therapies of cancers and diseases of the central nervous system.

Kabanov has published 350 scientific papers and his work has been cited over 45,000 times (Hirsch index 107 as of July 2022). He has been named multiple times the Highly Cited Researcher in pharmacology and toxicology by Thomson Reuters, and Clarivate Analytics. His cumulative research support in academia has been over $120 million.

Kabanov trained over 70 graduate students and postdocs half of whom are women and underrepresented minorities. Sixteen of his trainees have become faculty members at various academic institutions across the globe. He was a founder and first director of the NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (CoBRE) “Nebraska Center for Nanomedicine” (2008-2012), and is a Director of NCI’s T32 Carolina Cancer Nanotechnology Training Program. He has started in 2003 the first nanomedicine symposium series in the United States, NanoDDS (, held annually since then. He co-chaired and chaired multiple scientific meetings including Gordon Research Conferences “Drug Carriers in Medicine and Biology” (2006) and “Cancer Nanotechnology” (2017).

His honors include Lenin Komsomol Prize, NSF Career award, George Gamow award and Founders award of the Controlled Release Society (CRS). He was elected member of Academia Europaea, corresponding member of Russian Academy of Sciences, fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, CRS, and National Academy of Inventors. He is past President of Russian American Science Association (RASA) and director-at-large, CRS.

Education, Certification and Licensure

  • 1984 – 1987: Candidate of Chemical Sciences (Ph.D. equivalent) in Chemical Kinetics and Catalysis at Moscow State University
  • 1979 – 1984: Diploma with distinction (M.S. equivalent) in Chemistry at Moscow State University

Courses and Lectures


DPMP 862/863 “Special Topics in Advanced Pharmaceutics” 3 cr.

Office Hours

By appointment only

Google Scholar

Lab Website

Twitter @alkabanov

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3665-946X

Current Projects

  • Carolina Cancer Nanotechnology Training Program (C-CNTP)
  • Towards Translation of Nanoformulated Paclitaxel-Platinum Combination
  • Extracellular Vesicles for CNS Delivery of Therapeutic Enzymes to Treat Lysosomal Storage Disorders
  • Cell-based Platform for Gene Delivery to the Brain

Honors and Awards

2022 Founders Award, The Controlled Release Society
2021 Fellow, American Association for Advancement of Science
2019 Corresponding member, Russian Academy of Sciences
2018 Fellow, Controlled Release Society
Life Sciences Award, Triangle Business Journal
2017 Fellow, National Academy of Inventors (NAI)
RASA George Gamow Award
2016 RUSNANOPRIZE Short List
2015 Dresden Senior Fellow
2014 Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering
2013 Member, Academia Europaea (The Academy of Europe)
2010 2010 Russian MegaGrant
2009 2009 UNMC Scientist Laureate
2007 University of Nebraska ORCA Award
1995 NSF CAREER Award
1988 Lenin Komsomol Prize


Highly Cited Researcher: Thompson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics – Pharmacology & Toxicology (2014, 2018, 2021)


  • Huang, Kabanov and Roth Recognized for Research Influence

    Three faculty members from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy were recognized on the Clarivate Analytics list of Highly Cited Researchers for 2018. Leaf Huang, Ph.D., Alexander Kabanov, Ph.D., Dr.Sci., and Bryan Roth, Ph.D., M.D., were among 6,000 scientists worldwide … Read more

  • Kabanov Named President of Russian-American Scientists Association

    Alexander Kabanov, Ph.D., Dr.Sci., assumed office as president of the Russian-American Scientists Association (RASA-America) on Nov. 5. Kabanov is the Mescal S. Ferguson Distinguished Professor and director of the Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and … Read more

  • Kabanov Elected 2018 Controlled Release Society Fellow

    Alexander “Sasha” Kabanov, Ph.D., Dr. Sci., has been selected for membership in the College of Fellows of the Controlled Release Society for his “outstanding contributions to the field of delivery science and technology.” Kabanov will be inducted into the college … Read more

  • Kabanov Receives TBJ Life Sciences Award

    Alexander “Sasha” Kabanov, Ph.D., Dr. Sci., is a recipient of a 2018 Life Sciences Award from the Triangle Business Journal. Kabanov was nominated in the category of Outstanding Individual Research from Universities or Research Institutes. The award was presented at … Read more

  • Third Carolina Nanoformulation Workshop Shares Discoveries in Nanomedicine

    From March 12 to 16, scientists from industry and academia came together at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy to learn about the latest advances in nanomedicine and to get hands-on experience with advanced nanoformulations at the third annual Carolina … Read more

  • Kabanov to Lead Russian-American Science Society

    Alexander “Sasha” Kabanov, Ph.D., Dr.Sci., is the president-elect of the Russian-American Science Association. Kabanov was elected to his new post at the organization’s annual meeting at Northwestern University in Chicago on Nov. 4 and 5, where he also received the … Read more

  • Kabanov Elected to National Academy of Inventors

    Alexander “Sasha” Kabanov, Ph.D., Dr.Sci., Mescal Swaim Feruguson Distinguished Professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the organization announced Tuesday. Kabanov is the director of the School’s Center … Read more

  • Kabanov Meets with President of Armenia

    Alexander “Sasha” Kabanov, Ph.D., met with the president of Armenia on Nov. 8 as part of a group of participants in the second All-Armenian Scientific Conference held in the capital city of Yerevan on November 5-8. The delegation consisted of … Read more

  • Postdoc Elizabeth Wayne Reflects on TED Experience

    Elizabeth Wayne, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow studying how immune cells can be used to fight cancer, gave a TED talk on the main stage at TED 2017 in Vancouver, Canada. Wayne was announced as a TED fellow in January 2017. … Read more

  • Yuhang Jiang Wins UNC Grad School Impact Award

    Yuhang Jiang, Ph.D., a December 2016 graduate of the pharmaceutical sciences doctoral program at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, has received a 2017 Horizon Award from the UNC Graduate School for his research into a treatment to repair the … Read more