He is the Chancellor's Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and of Chemistry at UNC. Additionally, in 2012 he was named director of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at UNC. DeSimone is also an adjunct member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
DeSimone has published over 290 scientific articles and has over 130 issued patents in his name with over 80 patents pending.
DeSimone is a member of the both the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (2012) and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (2005). He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2005). DeSimone has received over 50 major awards and recognitions. In addition to the Lemelson–MIT Prize, his honors include the 2010 AAAS Mentor Award in recognition of his efforts to advance diversity in the chemistry PhD workforce; the 2009 NIH Director's Pioneer Award; the 2009 North Carolina Award, the highest honor the State of North Carolina can bestow to recognize notable achievements of North Carolinians in the fields of Literature, Science, the Fine Arts and Public Service; the 2008 Tar Heel of the Year by the Raleigh News & Observer; the 2007 Collaboration Success Award from the Council for Chemical Research; the 2005 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention; the 2002 John Scott Award presented by the Board of Directors of City Trusts, Philadelphia, given to "the most deserving" men and women whose inventions have contributed in some outstanding way to the "comfort, welfare and happiness" of mankind; the 2002 Engineering Excellence Award by DuPont; the 2002 Wallace H. Carothers Award from the Delaware Section of the American Chemical Society; and the 2000 Oliver Max Gardner Award from the University of North Carolina.
Among DeSimone’s notable inventions is an environmentally friendly manufacturing process that relies on supercritical carbon dioxide instead of water and bio-persistent surfactants (detergents) for the creation of fluoropolymers or high-performance plastics, such as Teflon. In 2002, DeSimone, along with Dr. Richard Stack, a cardiologist at Duke, co-founded Bioabsorbable Vascular Solutions (BVS) to commercialize a fully bioabsorbable, drug-eluting stent. BVS was acquired by Guidant Corporation in 2003 and these stents are now being evaluated in a series of international clinical trials for the treatment of coronary artery disease.
DeSimone’s research group is now heavily focused on learning how to bring the precision, uniformity and mass production techniques associated with the fabrication of nanoscale features found in the microelectronics industry to the nanomedicine field for the fabrication and delivery of vaccines and therapeutics for the treatment and prevention of diseases. Developed in the DeSimone Lab, PRINT technology (Particle Replication in Non-Wetting Templates) is central to the group's work.
DeSimone also founded Liquidia Technologies in 2004.
DeSimone’s laboratory and the PRINT technology recently became a foundation for the new Carolina Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence funded by the National Cancer Institute.
- Winners' Circle: Joseph M. DeSimone
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
- National Academy of Sciences Members and Foreign Associates Elected (May 1, 2012)
- "NAE Members Directory - Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone". U.S. National Academy of Engineering. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter D". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- 2010 AAAS Mentor Award Goes to Joseph M. DeSimone of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University (16 February 2011)
- "2009 Pioneer Award Recipients". NIH Director's Pioneer Award Program. National Institutes of Health. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "John Scott Award Recipients". John Scott Award Advisory Committee. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
- "Carolina Center of Nanotechnology Excellence". Carolina Center of Nanotechnology Excellence. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- DeSimone Research Group: People: DeSimone
- UNC Faculty: DeSimone
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