• Ronald T. Borchardt Distinguished Professor
School of Pharmacy - Pharmaceutical Chemistry
785-864-6262
Office
Multidisciplinary Research Building Room (MRB), Room 304
University of Kansas
2030 Becker Drive
Lawrence, KS 66047

Education

  • Ph.D., Biochemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • B.A., Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, (Revelle College)

Biography

Dr. Volkin is the Ronald T. Borchardt Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and co-founder of the Vaccine Analytics and Formulation Center (VAFC) at The University of Kansas. The VAFC collaborates extensively with partners (non-profits, small/large biopharma/vaccine companies, and academia) on analytical characterization and formulation development projects to facilitate novel candidates entering clinical trials with an emphasis on new candidates for use in the developing world. He has collaborated on the analytical and formulation development of ~100 biotherapeutic and vaccine candidates during ~10 years at KU including now marketed products (recombinant HA flu vaccine (FluBlok™) and an oncolytic herpes virus-based therapy, (T-VEC™) as well as late-stage clinical candidates (a live multivalent dengue virus vaccine candidate (TAK-003) and a recombinant non-replicating rotavirus vaccine, (NRRV).

Dr. Volkin joined the KU faculty in 2010 after a 20-year industry career in vaccine and biopharmaceutical R&D, including senior director level positions at Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co. and Centocor R&D, Johnson & Johnson. He led formulation and analytical 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. Dr. Volkin graduated with B.A. in Chemistry from the University of California-San Diego and earned a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is co-author of ~160 scientific publications and co-inventor on 15 U.S. patents including patents and papers describing the formulation and stabilization of the commercial HPV (Gardasil™) and rotavirus (RotaTeq™) vaccines. Dr. Volkin was awarded the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Research Achievement Award in Biotechnology in 2015.

Research Overview

Lack of stability often limits the use of biopharmaceuticals and vaccines (e.g., proteins, DNA/RNA, virus-like-particles, and viruses) as human medicines.  Loss of potency can occur during manufacturing, storage, or administration.  Our research objective is to understand the changes in physicochemical properties that accompany the loss of biological activity, and to develop new analytical techniques to monitor these changes at the molecular level.  A detailed understanding of the causes and molecular mechanisms of instability will guide the design of more potent and stable biopharmaceutical and vaccine dosage forms  As co-founder of the Vaccine Analytics and Formulation Center (VAFC) at The University of Kansas, our group collaborates extensively with partners (non-profits, small/large biopharma/vaccine companies, and academia) on analytical characterization and formulation development projects to facilitate novel candidates entering clinical trials with an emphasis on new candidates for use in the developing world.. 


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Research

Our research projects ranging from traditional pharmaceutics to biotechnology. 

Learn more here.

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