Russell Mumper
Russell Mumper, PhD

Russell Mumper, PhD, has assumed the role of the executive associate dean for academics at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy effective June 1.

Mumper is the John A. McNeill Distinguished Professor in the Division of Molecular Pharmaceutics and director of the School’s Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery. In this new position, he succeeds Gary Pollack, PhD, who has been named as the dean of the Washington State University College of Pharmacy.

Mumper’s experience and success in both industry and in academia made him a natural for the job, says Dean Robert Blouin.

“Russ has published more than 200 scientific papers and abstracts, received a campus-wide great-teacher award, founded four companies, and, in the past decade, received more than $8 million in research funding as principal investigator,” he says. “These accomplishments speak to his abilities as a scientist, teacher, entrepreneur, and administrator and make him an ideal choice for this position.”

Mumper says that he always believed his career would lead him into administration. However, it’s coming sooner than he expected.

“Many people have asked me why I pursued this opportunity after only being at UNC for three years and being recruited to run a research center. Frankly, it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” Mumper says. “I saw this as a role to both challenge myself and have a positive impact on a organization that is poised to do some more really great things.”

Many of the job’s responsibilities are being retooled, but Mumper says that one priority for the position is to head up new initiatives at the School.

“It will be my role to take new ideas developed by our faculty and students and provide early assessment and leadership, evaluating them against our strategic plan, and then if deemed worthwhile, forming teams to develop plans to implement these ideas” he says.

Mumper will continue to serve as interim director of the School’s Center for Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery until a suitable successor can be found, Blouin says.

His research into the creation of advanced drug delivery systems has led to several first-in-human studies in the past twenty years. His current research focuses on nanoparticle-based systems to overcome resistance in cancer and their use as vaccine-delivery systems to codeliver protein antigens and adjuvants. Over the past ten years, Mumper has led seven university-based product development efforts resulting in first-in-human clinical trials.

From 1999 to 2007, Mumper was a faculty member in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Kentucky, serving as vice chair from 2004 to 2007. From 1999 to 2006, he was also the associate director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Science & Technology. Prior to becoming a for-profit company in 2007, the CPST was a unique university-based fully-integrated FDA-registered GMP pharmaceutical manufacturing facility.

After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Bioengineering at the University of Washington in 1992, Dr. Mumper held various product development positions in the pharmaceutical/biotech industry working for Burroughs-Wellcome Co. in North Carolina and GeneMedicine, Inc. and Virotex Corporation, both in The Woodlands, Texas. He has cofounded four companies; NanoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (based in Kalamazoo, Michigan), Four Tigers LLC and Berryceuticals LLC (both based in Paris and Lexington, Kentucky), and Capture Pharmaceuticals LLC (based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina).

Mumper holds a BA in chemistry and PhD in pharmaceutics/drug delivery from the University of Kentucky.

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