Ronald T. Borchardt

School of Pharmacy - Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Distinguished Professor Emeritus
Primary office:
Simons Biosciences Research Laboratories
Room 201A
University of Kansas
2095 Constant Ave
Lawrence, KS 66047


Ronald T. Borchardt is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at The University of Kansas- Lawrence. Professor Borchardt received his undergraduate education (B.S. in Pharmacy, 1967) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his graduate education (Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry, 1970) from The University of Kansas-Lawrence. After serving as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Maryland) from 1969-1971, Professor Borchardt returned to The University of Kansas as an Assistant Professor. In the 1970's Professor Borchardt was promoted through the academic ranks to the position of Solon E. Summerfield Distinguished Professor in 1981. He held this position for 34 years until his retirement in 2015. From 1983-1998, Professor Borchardt served as the Chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy at The University of Kansas. During his academic career, Professor Borchardt supervised the research of approx. 170 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists.

Professor Borchardt’s research interests have included both drug delivery and drug design. In the area of drug delivery, his interests include: (i) the development of epithelial and endothelial cell culture systems for the study of drug transport and metabolism; (ii) the development of rational strategies (e.g. prodrugs) to improve the transport characteristics of peptides and peptidomimetics; (iii) the elucidation of the chemical pathways of protein and peptide degradation; and (v) the development of strategies to stabilize biomolecules in pharmaceutical formulations. Professor Borchardt’s interest in drug design has focused on the design and synthesis of inhibitors of an enzyme (S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase) that plays a key role in regulating biological methylation reactions, which are crucial for the replication of some viruses and parasites.

Professor Borchardt contributions to the development and validation of cell cultures for studying drug transport across the intestinal mucosa and the blood-brain barrier have been particularly significant. His pioneering work in the late 1980s lead to the introducing of Caco-2 cells as a model of the intestinal mucosa. This cell culture model is now widely used by scientists in pharmaceutical/biotechnology companies and in academic and government laboratories worldwide. Based upon his medicinal chemistry background, Professor Borchardt has more recently utilized this in vitro cell culture model for studying how structure influences transport of drugs across the intestinal mucosa.

During his academic career Professor Borchardt has received numerous awards and honors for his teaching and research accomplishments including: Established Investigator from the American Heart Association (1974-1979); Sato Memorial International Award from the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan (1981); Mortar Board Outstanding Educator Award (1980), Dolph C. Simons, Sr. Research Award in the Biomedical Sciences (1983), the Louise Byrd Graduate Educator Award (1997) and the Chancellors Club Career Teaching Award (2005) from The University of Kansas; Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (1988) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1995); Citation of Merit from the University of Wisconsin (1989); Meritorious Manuscript Awards (1991, 1998), Research Achievement Awards in Biotechnology (1993) and Medicinal Chemistry (1994), and Distinguished Pharmaceutical Scientist Award (1997) from the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists; Takeru and Aya Higuchi Memorial Lectureship Award from the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology of Japan (1993); Paul Dawson Biotechnology Award (1997) and Volwiler Research Achievement Award (1998) from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy; Hoest-Madsen Medal (1999) from the International Pharmaceutical Federation; Distinguished Service Award (1999) from the FASEB Research Conference on Biological Methylation; the Millennial Pharmaceutical Scientist Award (2000) from the Millennial World Congress of Pharmaceutical Sciences; the Research Achievement Award in the Pharmaceutical Sciences (2001) and the Takeru Higuchi Research Prize (2003) from the American Pharmaceutical Association; the Smissman-Bristol-Myers Squibb Award from the Medicinal Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society (2003); PolyPops Foundation Award from the Society for Biomolecular Sciences (2007); and Honorary Doctorate Degrees from The Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Copenhagen, Denmark (2002), Katholieke University, Leuven, Belgium (2004) and Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden (2006).

Professor Borchardt is the author or co-author of more than 500 scientific publications and 460 abstracts. He is also the Editor of 10 books, and the Series Editor of "Pharmaceutical Biotechnology" (14 published volumes, Springer) and “Biotechnology: Pharmaceutical Aspects” (7 published volumes, AAPS Press/Springer).

Selected Publications

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