Balthasar honored with 2020 UB Exceptional Scholar Sustained Achievement Award

By Kara Sweet

Published July 21, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Joseph Balthasar, PhD, professor of pharmaceutical sciences, has been selected to receive the 2020 University at Buffalo (UB) Exceptional Scholar Sustained Achievement Award.

““Dr. Balthasar’s innovative contributions to the field of PK/PD protein therapeutics...will make a lasting impression on the delivery of health care for years to come. ”
James M. O'Donnell, PhD, Dean
UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Joseph Balthasar.

Balthasar is internationally recognized for his innovative research in the field of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD), including the development of physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models for use in the discovery and development of monoclonal antibodies and antibody conjugates.

Insightful research

As a principal investigator, Balthasar maintains an independent and well-established research program, which has continuously attracted high impact external funding. His current grants from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) support the development of a “catch and release” strategy to deliver protein toxins to colorectal cancer cells and development of adjuvant agents to increase the intra-tumoral distribution and efficacy of monoclonal antibodies for treatment of breast cancer.

Balthasar began his tenure as a faculty member at the UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (SPPS) in 1999. He and William Jusko, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, established the Center for Protein Therapeutics (CPT) in 2008--Balthasar has served as CPT director since its inception. The center is a unique collaboration between leading pharmaceutical companies and the university that enables industry scientists and academics to develop cutting edge strategies to facilitate the development of protein drugs. The CPT, which receives approximately $1 million dollars each year from its industrial sponsors, provides a vibrant research environment for large numbers of graduate students and postdoctoral trainees—these students are some of the most sought-after in the pharmaceutical industry.

In 2019, Balthasar was appointed Executive Director of Research Initiatives in UB’s Office of the Vice President of Research and Economic Development. Balthasar oversees the BlueSky seed support program and UB’s research centers, and also develops faculty teams to pursue NIH training grants, cooperative agreements and program projects.

 “Dr. Balthasar’s innovative contributions to the field of PK/PD protein therapeutics, keen oversight of competitive research and economic development funding programs, and unique ability to train students and fellows will make a lasting impression on the delivery of health care for years to come,” says James O’Donnell, PhD, dean, UB School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Prolific achievement

Balthasar has published 85 peer-reviewed journal articles. His work overall has been cited 2,745 times, resulting in an h-index of 24. He has been an associate editor for two journals and is a current member of the editorial boards of five additional journals. He is a prominent invited speaker and has lectured at over 100 national and international professional meetings.

In 2009, Balthasar received the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Outstanding Manuscript in Modeling and Simulation Award, and in 2010 he was elected a fellow of AAPS. He was also recognized by the University at Buffalo with a Young Investigator Award in 2002, and is a current member of the Gene and Drug Delivery (GDD) study section of NIH.

Balthasar received both his BS in pharmacy in 1991 and his PhD in pharmaceutical sciences in 1996 from the University at Buffalo.

For over 130 years, the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has continually been a leader in the education of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists, renowned for innovation in clinical practice and research. The school is accredited by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) and is the No. 1 ranked school of pharmacy in New York State and No. 14 in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.