Marina Dobrovolskaia, PhD, MBA
Sr. Principal Scientist, Immunology
Dr. Dobrovolskaia is a Senior Principal Scientist and Head of the Immunology Section at the Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory (NCL). Dr. Dobrovolskaia joined the NCL in February 2005 to establish the immunology assay cascade and build a preclinical framework to conduct an immunological safety assessment of nanoparticle platforms and nanotechnology-formulated drugs and imaging agents. She currently directs characterization related to nanomaterials' interactions with components of the immune system. She leads a team of scientists and technicians conducting preclinical studies to monitor acute/adverse effects of nanoparticles to the immune system both in vitro and in vivo using a variety of immunological assays and relevant animal models. Dr. Dobrovolskaia’s team develops, validates and qualifies the performance of in vitro and in vivo assays to support the preclinical characterization of nanoparticles, and to monitor nanoparticle purity from biological contaminants such as bacteria, yeast, mold and endotoxin. Besides characterization and evaluation of more than 350 nanotechnology products submitted to the NCL for preclinical characterization, her team conducts basic research projects to advance translational science and improve the understanding of mechanisms of nanoparticle immunotoxicity. Dr. Dobrovolskaia is a member of several working groups on Nanomedicine, Oligonucleotide Safety, and Endotoxin Detection. She has published more than 45 peer-reviewed papers regarding nanomaterial interactions with the immune system, and prepared and edited two editions of the “Handbook of Immunological Properties of Engineered Nanomaterials”, which has received international recognition. Dr. Dobrovolskaia is an invited speaker at numerous national and international nanotechnology-related conferences. She has served a 4-year term as a Special Associate Editor in Immunology for the “Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine” Journal published by Elsevier and is currently an editorial board member for the Journal of Nanotoxicology and Nanomedicine by IGI Global.
Before joining the NCL, Dr. Dobrovolskaia worked as a Research Scientist in a GLP laboratory at PPD Development, Inc. in Richmond, VA, where she was responsible for the design, development and validation of bioanalytical ligand-binding assays to support pharmacokinetic and toxicity studies in a variety of drug development projects. She received her M.S. degree from Kazan State University in Russia, her Ph.D. from N.N. Blokhin Cancer Research Center of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences in Moscow, Russia, MBA degree from Hood College in Frederick, MD, and completed two postdoctoral trainings at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, MD and the University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD. She is also a member of Project Management Institute and a certified Project Management Professional. Her areas of expertise include cell signaling, innate immunity, immunotoxicity of complex drug formulations, bioanalytical methodology, and endotoxin detection and quantification.