Dr. Duxin Sun is the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Michigan. He is the Charles Walgreen Jr. Professor of Pharmacy and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, and serves as the Director of the Pharmacokinetics (PK) Core. Dr. Sun also has a joint appointment in the Chemical Biology program, the Interdisciplinary Medicinal Chemistry program, and University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Sun’s research interests focus on drug development, nanomedicine, and pharmacokinetics. Dr. Sun developed the STAR system (Structure-Tissue/Cell Selectivity-Activity-Relationship) to enhance drug development success by addressing the 90% failure rate. He also proposed a drug/nanocarrier-specific anticancer nanomedicine design strategy to enhance thier clinical efficacy and improve clinical success.  Dr. Sun earned his BS in Pharmacy, MS in Pharmacology, and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, and has also received training in Molecular Biology as a visiting scientist. With research experience in both academia and the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Sun has published over 260 papers, and has mentored 37 PhD students and 70 postdoctoral fellows/visiting scientists.

Dr. Sun is an elected Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS). He has served on the FDA Pharmaceutical Science and Clinical Pharmacology Advisory Committee and participated in study sections for the NIH and FDA.

Feature Story
How to Rescue ‘Failed’ Clinical Trials and Minimize Risks by Christine Bahls, 4/17/2023

Change must come gradually, says Duxin Sun, PhD, associate dean for research, Charles R. Walgreen Jr. professor of pharmacy and professor of pharmaceutical sciences, College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan. "Scientists are very hard to convince,” says Sun. “If the trial is at Phase II, no one wants to listen. It’s their baby … Every expert has their own vision.” In animal studies, he says, if a drug isn’t working then the dose is increased. “Animals can’t tell you they are dizzy,” says Sun.


  • Associate Dean for Research: UM Pharmacy Professor Research Outreach (UM Pharmacy PRO)

Research Interests

Selected Publications