Professor Joseph DeSimone has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine a U. S. scientist can receive.
His election to the Institute of Medicine is the third time he's been named a member of a U. S. National Academy. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005 and the National Academy of Sciences in 2012. Fewer than 20 people in history have achieved election to all three U. S. National Academies.
"It is humbling to join such an elite group," DeSimone said. "This is a tribute to my students at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State whose research at the intersection of diverse fields enables us, as a team, to create significant impact in and beyond medicine."
Dr. DeSimone is known for his ability to apply insights in materials science to create advances in medicine and other fields. He has more than 300 publications, holds over 150 issued patents with over 80 patents pending, and has founded several companies based on his work.
During his 24-year career at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill, Dr. DeSimone has made multiple important contributions to the advancement of medicine. In the early 2000s, he developed breakthrough materials for a new, drug-eluting, bioabsorbable cardiac stent that's been commercialized by Abbott Vascular and is available in over 60 countries.
In 2004, his research group invented a new technology to create nano- and micro-particles called PRINT (Particle Replication In Non-wetting Templates). PRINT particles are being explored by DeSimone and his team for the development of next-generation vaccines including for dengue fever, influenza and certain forms of cancer.
In order to develop commercial applications for PRINT, DeSimone founded Liquidia Technologies, Inc. In 2012, the company announced a large, multi-year partnership with GlaxoSmithKline focused on using PRINT to develop vaccine and inhaled products for the prevention and treatment of serious health conditions.
In 2005, DeSimone's team's work led to the creation of the Carolina Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence, a 10-year, almost $40 million initiative based at UNC's Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, funded by the National Cancer Institute. His newest company, Carbon3D, is developing a new 3-D printing technology that can fabricate objects significantly faster than current state-of-the-art 3-D printers.
Dr. DeSimone is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NCSU, and Chancellor's Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill.