Chemist DeSimone named to National Academy of Inventors

Joe DeSimone (photo courtesy of The Daily Tar Heel).

Joe DeSimone (photo courtesy of The Daily Tar Heel).

Chemist Joseph DeSimone has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

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

He also is an adjunct faculty member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

The National Academy of Inventors honors academic inventors with a prolific spirit of innovation in creating inventions that have made an impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

DeSimone has published more than 300 scientific articles and holds more than 140 patents with more than 80 patents pending.  He has received more than 50 major awards and recognitions, including the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention, the Walston Chubb Award for Innovation by Sigma Xi and the AAAS Mentor Award in recognition of efforts to advance diversity in the chemistry Ph.D. workforce.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In 2005, DeSimone and his students invented the PRINT (Particle Replication In Non-wetting Templates) technology, enabling DeSimone to launch Liquidia Technologies, Inc. which now has a major focus on the development of new vaccines. In addition to novel vaccines, applications of PRINT are being explored for next generation cancer therapies, inhalation therapies, environmentally friendly marine coatings and synthetic blood.

The 143 inventors named as NAI fellows represent 94 universities, governmental and nonprofit research institutes. Together, they hold more than 5,600 U.S. patents.

DeSimone will be inducted by the deputy U.S. commissioner for patents, Andy Faile, during the third annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors on March 7, 2104, at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Va.

Last December, Oliver Smithies, Nobel Prize winner and Weatherspoon Eminent Distinguished Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UNC, and Holden Thorp, former Carolina chancellor and chemistry professor, were named inaugural fellows of NAI.