David Zaharoff

David Zaharoff, PhD, is a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Member and Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC-Chapel Hill. Lab conducts interdisciplinary, translational research focused primarily on the development of biomaterials-based strategies for local delivery of cancer immunotherapies.

David Zaharoff

Associate Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill
Molecular Therapeutics


151B MacNider Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Area of interest

I direct an interdisciplinary, translational research program focusing on the design, development and evaluation of novel immunotherapies for cancer. My lab uses diverse themes in biomaterials, nanotechnology,transport phenomena, molecular biology, chemistry and tumor immunology to develop biomaterials-based strategies capable of manipulating the delivery of, and hence the host immune response to, cancer vaccines and immunotherapies. I have received multi-disciplinary training in drug/gene delivery systems from Dr. Fan Yuan’s lab at Duke University and tumor immunology/translational cancer vaccines from Drs. Jack Greiner and Jeff Schlom in the NCI intramural program. As a Kirschstein NRSA postdoc in Dr. Schlom’s lab, I leveraged my previous training in drug delivery systems to formulate novel polysaccharide-based delivery platforms for recombinant cytokines and antigens. One of these platforms, comprised of a simple admixture of chitosan and IL-12, is being considered for translation into Phase I clinical studies as an intravesical immunotherapy for superficial bladder cancer. As an independent investigator, I continue to engineer translatable delivery systems to control the spatiotemporal distribution of immunomodulatory agents, with a particular interest in IL-12 family cytokines.

Awards and Honors

1997 Edmund James Scholar, University of Illinois
2002 NIH Predoctoral Fellow (T32), Center for Biomolecular and Tissue Engineering, Duke Univeristy
2005 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F32), NIH
2006 NCI Director’s Career Development Innovation Award, National Cancer Institute
2007, 2008 Federal Technology Transfer Award, National Cancer Institute
2008, 2009 Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE), NIH
2009 21st Century Endowed Professorship of Biomedical Engineering, University of Arkansas
2009 NCI Transition Career Development Award (K22), National Cancer Institute
2012 Outstanding Teaching Award, Dept. of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of Arkansas
2012 Faculty Gold Medal, Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, University of Arkansas
2012-2015 Outstanding Mentor, Office of Nationally Competitive Awards, University of Arkansas
2013, 2014 Outstanding Researcher Award, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, University of Arkansas
2015 Rising Star Faculty Award, College of Engineering, University of Arkansas
2015 Top 15 funded investigators, University of Arkansas

Link to Publications on PubMed

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