We are proud to recognize Dr. Chris Junker (’12) as the 2022 WFU Friends of Chemistry Young
Alumni Award recipient. Chris received his BS in Chemistry at Catawba College in 2007 and
then his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Wake Forest University in 2012. Since then he has been
employed by Reynolds Tobacco or Reynolds American and has risen from an entry level title of
Scientist up to most his most recent appointments as vice president within scientific and
regulatory affairs. Below is a brief synopsis of his career to date with Reynolds.
- Early focus areas as a bench chemist included (1) preparative scale separations of complex plant extracts and work with external vendors across the globe to demonstrate proof of concept at pilot scale and (2) GC/MS and LC/MS method development.
- From there he assumed a management role over their chromatography lab, with his team’s primary focus being chemical characterization of emissions from first generation Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) to support toxicological evaluations.
- He later moved over to Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, specifically our Submissions & Engagement department. Over two roles in this area, he held responsibility for drafting premarket applications to the FDA, direct engagement with the agency, facilitating responses to scientific questions on our applications, and engagement with R&D and marketing to establish regulatory strategies to attain authorization to market new and existing products across multiple categories.
- He then moved into his first vice president role as head of Regulatory Sciences. His department was responsible for much of the scientific studies that support their applications to the FDA. Focus areas include tradition in vitro regulatory toxicology, development of novel human organotypic in vitro assays, human use/clinical trials (e.g., nicotine PK/PD, biomarkers of tobacco exposure and potential harm, product use topography), analysis of data from government surveys (e.g., FDA’s Population
- Assessment of Tobacco and Health), consumer testing of product risk perceptions and likelihood to use, population health modeling, systematic literature reviews, and statistical support (biostatistics and industrial statistics). He also had oversight for external scientific engagement and dissemination of our research via peer-review publications, participation in scientific conferences, and establishing connections with public health researchers with a focus on our mission of Tobacco Harm Reduction (i.e., a concept recognized by FDA and some areas of Public Health that, for smokers who are unwilling to quit, transitioning to non-combusted products has the potential to reduce their risk of tobacco-related disease and ultimately confer a benefit to public health as a whole).
- Most recently he has moved into the role of Vice President for Vapor and Oral Submissions. There he leads a team of approximately 30 scientists and regulatory experts in the synthesis and defense of premarket regulatory submissions for the company’s electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and oral tobacco product portfolios. He is responsible for regulatory strategy and engagement with FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), as well as external scientific engagement in support of the company’s tobacco harm reduction (THR) agenda.