head shot image

Glen S Kwon, PhD

Jens T. Carstensen Distinguished Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences

Our pharmaceutical research focuses on polymeric nanotechnology for drug delivery, non-viral gene delivery and optical imaging. Within this context, we are very interested in fundamental pharmaceutical concepts in drug solubilization, controlled release and drug targeting. These insights into polymeric nanotechnology allow us to explore pharmacological strategies that are bio-responsive, synergistic and/or theranostic, aiming for cures against lung, breast and ovarian cancers and systemic fungal diseases.


Before joining UW-Madison, Dr. Kwon was a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at Tokyo Women's Medical College in Tokyo, Japan from 1991 to 1993 and an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada from 1993 to 1997. Dr. Kwon received the Jorge Heller Journal of Controlled Release/ Controlled Release Society (CRS) Outstanding Paper Award in 1994, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Faculty New Investigator Award in 1998, CRS Young Investigator Research Achievement Award in 2003, Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists in 2012,  Highly-Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters in the category of Pharmacology Toxicology in 2014, and AAPSPharmSciTech Outstanding Manuscript Award in 2016. Dr. Kwon is co-founder of Co-D Therapeutics Inc., a start-up company dedicated to first-in-class anticancer combination nanomedicines. He is a member of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at the UW Carbone Cancer Center. He is an Associate Editor for J. of Pharmacy and Pharm. Sci and Pharm. Nanotech. He serves on editorial boards of J. Controlled Release, Pharm. Res., Recent Patents and Drug Form., and Mol. Pharm.

Professional Interests:

Drug delivery; drug targeting; pharmaceutical nanotechnology; polymeric micelles; polymeric drug conjugates; and PEGylation.


  • BS 1986 Chemistry - University of Utah
  • PhD 1991 Pharmaceutics - University of Utah
  • Postdoc 1993 Bioengineering - Tokyo Women's Medical College
Highlighted Publications:
  • P. Zbyszynski, B. R. Tomasini-Johansson, D. M. Peters, and G. S. Kwon, Characterization of the pegylated functional upstream domain peptide (fud): a potent fibronectin assembly inhibitor with potential as an anti-fibrotic therapeutic," Pharm. Res., 35, 126 (2018).
  • D. H. Shin and G. S. Kwon, "Pre-clinical evaluation of a thermosensitive gel containing epothilone b and mtor/hsp90 targeted agents in an ovarian tumor model," J. Controlled Release, 268, 176-183 (2017).
  • D. H. Shin and G. S. Kwon, "Epothilone-b-based 3-in-1 polymeric micelle for anticancer drug therapy," Int. J. Pharm., 518, 307-311 (2017).
  • H. Y. Li, Z. Chen, L. W. Ho, P. S. Chan, Q. Li, S, C. Leung, B. Zhang, K. L. Lai, G. S. Kwon, and W. Y. T. Lee, "Oligonucleotide-conjugated nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery via scavenger receptors class a: an in vitro assessment for proof-of-concept," Int. J. Pharm., 532, 647-655 (2017).
  • C. Alvarez, D. R. Andes, J. Y. Kang, C. Krug, and G. S. Kwon, "Antifungal efficacy of an intravenous formulation containing monomeric amphotericin b, 5-fluorocytosine, and saline for sodium supplementation," Pharm. Res., 34, 1115-1124 (2017).
  • K. Tomoda, H. C. Chiang, K. R. Kozak, and G. S. Kwon, "Injectable (-)-gossypol-loaded pluronic p85 micelles for cancer chemoradiotherapy," Int. J. Radiat. Biol., 93, 402-406 (2017).
  • K. Tomoda, Y. T. Tam, H. Cho, D. Buehler, K. R. Kozak, and G. S. Kwon, "Triolimus: a multi-drug loaded polymeric micelle containing paclitaxel, 17-aag, and rapamycin as a novel radiosensitizer," Macromol. Biosci., 17, 1600194 (2017).
  • Y. T. Tam, J. Gao, and G. S. Kwon, "Oligo(lactic acid)n-paclitaxel prodrugs for poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(lactic acid) micelles: loading, release, and backbiting conversion for anticancer activity," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 138, 8674-8677 (2016).
  • D. H. Shin, Y. T. Tam, and G. S. Kwon, "Polymeric micelle nanocarriers in cancer research," Front. Chem., Sci. Eng., 10, 348-359 (2016).
  • J. Y. Kang, J. Gao, D. H. Shin, C. Alvarez, W. Zhong, and G. S Kwon, Pharmacokinetics and renal toxicity of monomeric amphotericin b in rats after a multiple dosing regimen," Pharm. Nanotech., 4, 16-23 (2016).
  • M. McKenzie, D. Betts, A. Suh, K. Bui, R. Tang, K. Liang, S. Achilefu, G. S. Kwon, and H. Cho, "Proof-of-concept of polymeric sol-gels in multi-drug delivery and intraoperative image-guided surgery for peritoneal ovarian cancer," Pharm. Res.33, 2298-2306 (2016).
  • C. Alvarez, D. H. Shin, and G. S. Kwon, "Reformulation of fungizone by peg-dspe micelles: deaggregation and detoxification of amphotericin b," Pharm. Res., 33, 2098-2106 (2016).
  • H. Cho, J. Gao, and G. S. Kwon, "PEG-b-PLA micelles and PLGA-b-PEG-b-PLGA sol-gels for drug delivery," J. Controlled Release, 240, 191-201 (2016).
  • K. Tomoda, C. Chiang, K. R. Kozak, and G. S. Kwon, "Examination of gossypol-pluronic micelles as potential radiosensitizers," AAPS J., 15, 1369-1375 (2015).
  • H. Cho, T. C. Lai, K. Tomoda, and G. S. Kwon, "Polymeric micelles for multi-drug delivery in cancer," AAPS PharmSciTech, 16, 10-20 (2015).
  • H. Cho and G. S. Kwon, "Thermosensitive poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide)-block-poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(d,l-lactide-co-glycolide) hydrogels for multi-drug delivery," J. Drug Targeting, 22, 669-677 (2014).
  • T. P. Wyche, A. Dammalapati, H. Cho, A. D. Harrison, G. S. Kwon, H. Chen, T. S. Bugni, and R. Jaskula-Sztul, "Thiocoraline activates the notch pathway in carcinoids and reduces tumor progression in vivo," Cancer Gene Ther., 21, 518-525 (2014).
  • T. C. Lai, H. Cho, and G. S. Kwon, "Reversibly core cross-linked polymeric micelles with pH- and reduction-sensitivities: effects of cross-linking degree on particle stability, drug release kinetics, and anti-tumor efficacy," Polym. Chem., 5, 1650-1661 (2014).
  • H. Cho, C. S. Cho, G. L. Indig, A. Lavansanifar, M. R. Vakili, and G. S. Kwon, "Polymeric micelles for apoptosis-targeted optical imaging of cancer and intraoperative surgical guidance," PLoS One, 9, e89968 (2014).
  • F. Chen, H. Hong, Y. Zhang, H. F. Valdovinos, S. Shi, G. S. Kwon, C. P. Theuer, T. E. Barnhart, and W. Cai, "In vivo tumor targeting and image-guided drug delivery with antibody-conjugated, radiolabeled mesoporous silica nanoparticles," ACS Nano, 10, 9027-9039 (2013).
  • T. Yoshida, T. C. Lai, G. S. Kwon, and K. Sako, "pH- and ion-sensitive polymers for drug delivery," Expert Opin. Drug Deliv., 10, 1497-1513 (2013).
  • H. Cho, T. C. Lai, and G. S. Kwon, "Poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(epsilon-caprolactone) micelles for combination drug delivery: evaluation of paclitaxel, cyclopamine, and gossypol in intraperitoneal xenograft models of ovarian cancer,"J. Controlled Release, 166, 1-9 (2013).
  • J. R. Hasenstein, H. C. Shin, K. Kasmerchak, D. Buehler, K. R. Kozak, G. S. Kwon, and K. R. Kozak, "Antitumor activity of triolimus: a novel multi-drug loaded micelle containing paclitaxel, rapamycin, and 17-aag," Mol. Cancer Ther., 11, 2233-2242 (2012).
  • H. C. Shin, H. Cho, T. C. Lai, K. R. Kozak, J. M. Kolesar, and G. S. Kwon, "Pharmacokinetic study of 3-in-1 poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(d,l-lactic acid) micelles carrying paclitaxel, 17-allylamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin, and rapamycin," J. Controlled Release, 163, 93-99 (2012).
  • T. C. Lai, K. Kataoka, and G. S. Kwon, "Bioreducible polyether-based pdna ternary polyplexes: balancing particle stability and transfection ability," Colloids Surf. B Biointerfaces, 99, 27-37 (2012).
  • H. Cho, G. L. Indig, J. Weichert, H-C Shin, and G. S. Kwon, "In vivo cancer imaging by poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(epsilon-caprolactone) micelles containing a near-infrared probe," Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine, 8, 228-236 (2012).
  • T-H. H. Chen, Y. Bae, D. Y. Furgeson, and G. S. Kwon, "Biodegradable hybrid recombinant block copolymers for non-viral gene transfection," Int. J. Pharm., 427, 105-112 (2012).
  • H. Cho and G. S. Kwon, "Polymeric micelles for neoadjuvant cancer therapy and tumor-primed optical imaging," ACS Nano, 5, 8721-8729 (2011).
  • H. C. Shin, A. W. Alani, H. Cho, Y. Bae, J. M. Kolesar, and G. S. Kwon, "A 3-in-1 polymeric micelle nanocontainer for poorly water-soluble drugs," Mol. Pharm., 8, 1257-1265 (2011).
  • T. C. Lai, K. Kataoka, and G. S. Kwon, "Pluronic-based cationic block copolymer for forming pdna polyplexes with enhanced cellular uptake and improved transfection ability," Biomaterials, 32, 4594-4603 (2011).
  • T. A. Diezi, J. K. Takemoto, N. M. Davies, and G. S. Kwon, "Pharmacokinetics and nephrotoxicity of amphotericin b-incorporated poly(ethylene glycol)-block-poly(n-hexyl stearate l-aspartamide) micelles ," J. Pharm. Sci., 100, 2064-2070 (2011).
  • A. W. Alani, Y. Bae, D. A. Rao, and G. S. Kwon, "Polymeric micelles for the ph-dependent controlled, continuous low dose release of paclitaxel," Biomaterials, 31, 1765-1772 (2010).
  • T. A. Diezi, Y. Bae, and G. S. Kwon, "Enhanced stability of peg-block-poly(n-hexyl stearate l-aspartamide) micelles in the presence of serum proteins," Mol. Pharm., 7, 1355-1360 (2010).
  • H. C. Shin, A. W. Alani, D. A. Rao, N. C. Rockich, and G. S. Kwon, "Multi-drug loaded polymeric micelles for simultaneous delivery of poorly soluble anticancer drugs," J. Controlled Release, 140, 294-300 (2009).
  • M. P. Xiong, J. A. Janez, G. S. Kwon, N. M. Davies, and M. L. Forrest, "A cremophor-free formulation for tanespimycin (17-aag) using peo-b-pdlla micelles: characterization and pharmacokinetics in rats," J. Pharm. Sci., 98, 1577-1586 (2009).
  • R. Vakil, K. Knilans, D. Andes, and G. S. Kwon, "Combination antifungal therapy involving amphotericin b, rapamycin and 5-fluorocytosine using peg-phospholipid micelles," Pharm. Res., 25, 2056-2064 (2008).
  • J. A. Janez, M. L. Forrest, Y. Ohgami, G. S. Kwon, and N. M. Davies, "Pharmacometrics and delivery of novel nanoformulated PEG-b-poly(epsilon-caprolactone) micelles of rapamycin," Cancer Chemother. Pharmacol., 61, 133-144 (2008).
  • Y. Bae, T. A. Diezi, A. Zhao, and G. S. Kwon, "Mixed polymeric micelles for combination cancer chemotherapy through the concurrent delivery of multiple chemotherapeutic agents," J. Controlled Release, 122, 324-330 (2007).