Joseph M. DeSimone, Ph.D.

AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2007
For pioneering efforts in environmental science and engineering and the development of novel biomaterials.

DeSimone receives prestigious National Academy of Sciences prize in convergent science

Via University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | December 6, 2018

Joseph M. DeSimone, Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at Carolina and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State University, is the recipient of the 2018 National Academy of Sciences Award for Convergent Science.

The $350,000 prize recognizes significant advances in convergence research — the integration of two or more of the following disciplines: mathematics, physics, chemistry, biomedicine, biology, astronomy, earth sciences, engineering and computational science — for achievements possible only through such integration. DeSimone received the award at a Dec. 5 ceremony in Irvine, California.

DeSimone’s breakthroughs to improve human health include 3D printed dentures, nanomedicines for cancer therapy, drug delivery devices that can be implanted and tailored to a patient’s needs and an inhalable pulmonary vaccine platform that can be used to target diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia… Continue reading.

Dr. Joseph DeSimone Received 22nd Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment

Via Heinz Awards | September 14, 2017

Dr. Joseph DeSimone, a chemist and expert in polymeric materials, is recognized for his achievements in developing and commercializing advanced technologies in several cutting-edge fields such as 3D printing, precision medicine, nanoparticle fabrication and green chemistry, and for his commitment to diversity in the STEM fields as a “fundamental tenet of innovation.”

Dr. DeSimone’s work merges life, physical and engineering sciences with the goal of fostering innovation in how things are made in order to improve the human condition. He is noted for the recent breakthrough development of CLIP, a new approach that is moving 3D printing into large-scale 3D manufacturing for the first time; and for PRINT, a soft lithographic technique that uses the tools of the computer industry to fabricate tiny nanoparticles out of pure pharmaceutical ingredients for precision delivery of vaccines, pain treatment and cancer therapeutics… Continue reading.

DeSimone Receives National Medal in White House Ceremony

Via NC State U | May 20, 2016

At a Thursday, May 19 White House ceremony, Joseph DeSimone, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State and Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Barack Obama.

DeSimone won the award for “pioneering innovations in material science that led to the development of technologies in diverse fields from manufacturing to medicine; and for innovative and inclusive leadership in higher education and entrepreneurship.”

Seventeen of the nation’s top scientists and innovators received either the National Medal of Science or the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

The National Medal of Science was created by statute in 1959 and is administered for the White House by the National Science Foundation. Awarded annually, the Medal recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science and engineering. The President receives nominations from a committee of Presidential appointees based on their extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry, engineering, computing, mathematics, and the biological, behavioral/social, and physical sciences.

New Hybrid Electrolyte For Solid-State Lithium Batteries

Via Berkeley | December 21, 2015

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a novel electrolyte for use in solid-state lithium batteries that overcomes many of the problems that plague other solid electrolytes while also showing signs of being compatible with next-generation cathodes.

Berkeley Lab battery scientist Nitash Balsara, working with collaborator Joseph DeSimone of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, came up with a highly conductive hybrid electrolyte, combining the two primary types of solid electrolytes—polymer and glass.

Their discovery is detailed in “Compliant Glass-Polymer Hybrid Single-Ion-Conducting Electrolytes for Lithium Batteries,” published online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)

Joseph DeSimone Receives $250,000 Kabiller Prize In Nanoscience and Nanomedicine

Via Northwestern | September 30, 2015

EVANSTON, Ill. — Northwestern University’s International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) announced today (Sept. 30) that chemist Joseph M. DeSimone of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the recipient of the inaugural $250,000 Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine.The Kabiller Prize and the $10,000 Kabiller Young Investigator Award in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine were established by the IIN earlier this year through a generous donation from Northwestern trustee and alumnus David G. Kabiller. Recipients are selected by an international committee of experts in the field. “These awards were established not only to recognize the people who are designing the technologies that will drive innovation in nanomedicine, but also to educate and shine a light on the great promises of nanomedicine,” said Kabiller, co-founder of AQR Capital Management, a global investment management firm in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Kabiller Prize is among the largest monetary awards in the U.S. for outstanding achievement in the field of nanotechnology and its application to medicine and biology.“The world needs more people like David Kabiller,” said Chad A. Mirkin, IIN director and the George B. Rathmann Professor of Chemistry in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. “He is dedicated to making a difference and to improving the world through advances in science.”DeSimone’s innovative research applying nanotechnology to medicine captures the vision of the Kabiller Prize.“Joe is a Renaissance scientist, who has made some of the most important advances in the field of nanomedicine,” Mirkin said. One of those advances is PRINT (Particle Replication in Non-wetting Templates) technology, invented by DeSimone in 2005.

The Untapped Potential of 3-D Printing

Via BioScience Technology | March 24, 2015

Joseph DeSimone, the CEO of manufacturing firm Carbon3D, was a featured speaker at the TED Conference in Vancouver last week. The focus of his seminar was on the potential of 3-D printing.

DeSimone specifically highlighted the machine he co-created telling the audience it is “25 to 100 times faster” than the other printers currently on the market. His creation uses light and oxygen to quickly manufacture a fleshed-out product from a pool of resin.

The chief executive touted the benefits of his creation’s speed and efficiency, and further expanded upon the potential his printer could have in making customized stents or developing detailed dental molds in the time it could take for a dentist to complete a routine checkup.

Potential Pancreatic Cancer Treatment Could Increase Life Expectancy

Via UNC Healthcare | February 4, 2015

Pancreatic cancer cells are notorious for being protected by a fortress of tissue, making it difficult to deliver drugs to either shrink the tumor or stop its growth. Now researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a device that could change all that: By using electric fields, the device can drive chemotherapy drugs directly into tumor tissue, preventing their growth and in some cases, shrinking them.  
The work, to be published Feb. 4 in Science Translational Medicine, opens the possibility of dramatically increasing the number of people who are eligible for life-saving surgeries. It represents a fundamentally new treatment approach for pancreatic cancer, which has a 75 percent mortality rate within a year of diagnosis – a statistic that has not changed in more than 40 years.  
“Surgery to remove a tumor currently provides the best chance to cure pancreatic cancer,” said DeSimone who is Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State University. “However, often a diagnosis comes too late for a patient to be eligible for surgery due to the tendency of the tumors to become intertwined with major organs and blood vessels.”
“Once this goes to clinical trials, it could shift the paradigm for pancreatic cancer treatments – or any other solid tumors where standard IV chemotherapy drugs are hard to get to,” said Jen Jen Yeh, associate professor of surgery and pharmacology in UNC’s School of Medicine and a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.  

Joseph DeSimone Elected to All Three Branches of the National Academies | NC State News

Via NC State News | October 20, 2014

Dr. Joseph DeSimone, William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University and Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 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.Joseph DeSimoneDeSimone’s election to Institute of Medicine represents the third time he has 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.DeSimone is the first professor in the state of North Carolina to be named 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.”

Grant to Explore Better Methods for Delivering Antidotes After Chemical Attacks

Via University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | September 19, 2013

A new $4.47 million project at UNC-Chapel Hill, funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, will help lay the groundwork for developing potentially better ways to deliver antidotes against exposure to chemical weapons. The work could ultimately help both civilian and military populations through the design of precisely engineered particles and microneedle patches that are loaded with a nerve gas antidote that can be easily administered in the event of an attack.

Researchers at UNC will use the PRINT technology, also known as Particle Replication In Non-wetting Templates, to design and optimize the size, shape and composition of particles and microscopic needles that can carry life-saving antidotes to chemical nerve gas. If successful, the application of this technology could make it easier to deliver drugs faster to counteract severe reactions to chemical agents.

“Finding the fastest, most effortless method to administer antidotes during a nerve gas attack can be crucial for saving lives,” said Joseph DeSimone, Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC and William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at N.C. State University and of Chemistry at UNC.

Nanoparticles, Made to Order — Inside and Out

Via MIT News | July 2, 2013

New research enables high-speed customization of novel nanoparticles for drug delivery and other uses.

A new coating technology developed at MIT, combined with a novel nanoparticle-manufacturing technology developed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, may offer scientists a way to quickly mass-produce tailored nanoparticles that are specially coated for specific applications, including medicines and electronics.

Using this new combination of the two existing technologies, scientists can produce very small, uniform particles with customized layers of material that can carry drugs or other molecules to interact with their environment, or even target specific types of cells.

Q&A with Joseph DeSimone

Via UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School | April 18, 2013

Joseph DeSimone, who was appointed as director of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise last summer, talks about the vision, plans and priorities for the Institute.

What first appealed to you about taking the position of Director of the Kenan Institute?

Frank Hawkins Kenan’s original vision for the Institute talks of fusing entrepreneurship and free enterprise more broadly across campus. That has always been important to me since I came to UNC in 1990. My research group based in the Department of Chemistry became entrepreneurially active quickly, and back then there weren’t very many of us doing that. Our campus is now a hub for university-based entrepreneurship. We’re a leader in this realm, and we can leverage this position. Knowing that Jim Dean had a vision to elevate the Kenan Institute to new heights, the idea of taking Frank’s vision and helping implement that was very appealing to me. We have an opportunity to build on current strengths; refine what we’re doing across campus to foster entrepreneurship among faculty, staff, and students; develop key partnerships in the academic and business communities; and pursue replicable initiatives designed to create lasting economic impact. That’s the most attractive aspect about it.

Joseph DeSimone: Liberal Arts Education Shapes Startup Founders

Via Materials Views | February 19, 2013

From creating a manufacturing process for making plastics using supercritical carbon dioxide to his latest biomedical venture, Liquidia Technologies, professor Joseph DeSimone of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University has a long and distinguished career as an entrepreneur, as well as a scientist.

But what gives an entrepreneur the tools to succeed? We talk to Prof. DeSimone about the value of a liberal arts education in shaping future startup creators, as well as about what he has been recently up to with Liquidia Technologies.

Kenan Institute Appoints Joseph DeSimone as New Director

Via UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School | July 16, 2012

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise has appointed Joseph M. DeSimone as its new director.

DeSimone is the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC and William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State University and of Chemistry at UNC.

He replaces John D. Kasarda, who stepped down in June after serving as the director of the Kenan Institute for 22 years. Kasarda will continue his aerotropolis work as Kenan Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler and director of the Kenan Institute’s Center for Air Commerce.

“We are very pleased to welcome Joseph DeSimone to the Kenan Institute,” said James W. Dean Jr., dean of UNC Kenan-Flagler. “He is a world-renowned scholar in his field. As an innovative entrepreneur, he is applying his research to design novel nanomedicines for cancer therapy and to improve vaccines and drug delivery mechanisms. He is the perfect leader to continue the institute’s cutting-edge research and collaboration with business and communities to create positive local and global change.”

UNC Scientist to Partner on Nanoparticle Vaccine for Prostate Cancer

Via UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center | August 15, 2011

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researcher Joseph DeSimone, PhD, will partner with scientists at two universities and a local biotechnology company to develop a nanoparticle vaccine for prostate cancer. The Prostate Cancer Foundation awarded the UNC-Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard-Johns Hopkins-Liquidia Technologies consortium a Challenge Award of $1 million, one of ten such awards funded by the organization.

DeSimone is Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at N.C. State University.

Prostate Cancer Foundation Challenge Awards are designed to support cross-disciplinary teams of prostate cancer investigators who are focused on highly innovative research with potential near-term patient benefit. These awards are given to projects not yet funded by any government or foundation program.

DeSimone’s cross-disciplinary team of chemists and immunologists is developing a new immunotherapy designed to efficiently deliver new agents to the body in order to stimulate a patient’s own immune system to produce cancer-fighting agents and attack cancer cells. This work represents continued progress in immunotherapy for cancer – a now validated concept once thought to be impossible.

According to DeSimone, “UNC researchers, in partnership with researchers at Liquidia, will focus on the particle fabrication and optimization aspects of the project, which will involve the development of particles, analytical evaluation, and initial testing.” The UNC team will then work with collaborators at Harvard and Hopkins to test the particles in validated models.

Joseph M. DeSimone, Ph.D., Named 2011 Mendel Medalist

Via Villanova University | June 17, 2011

Joseph M. DeSimone, Ph.D., the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University, has been named the 2011 Mendel medalist. DeSimone also is an adjunct member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. DeSimone has published over 270 scientific articles and has over 115 issued patents in his name with more than 120 patents pending.