DeSimone joined Stanford University after a 30-year career in NC where he was the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC and the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NCSU.
DeSimone and his trainees have made significant scientific breakthroughs in green chemistry, medical devices, nanotechnology, and most recently in 3D printing. He mentored over 80 students through Ph.D. completion at UNC and NCSU, half of whom were women and members of underrepresented groups in STEM. An author of over 370 scientific publications with over 42,000 citations to his work, DeSimone is a named inventor on >200 issued patents.
He has co-founded several companies including BVS (biodegradable stent; sold to Guidant, then Abbott); Liquidia Technologies (precision medicines for pulmonary diseases; NASDAQ: LQDA); Blue Current (solid-state batteries); Advanced Chemotherapy Technologies (interventional oncology targeting pancreatic cancer); and Carbon (3D printing that is taking the industry from a prototyping-only industry to digital manufacturing). In recognition of his entrepreneurial success, he was selected as the 2019 EY Entrepreneur of the Year National Overall winner. Chemical & Engineering News named Carbon their Company of the Year for 2019.
DeSimone has achieved international recognition as a scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur, earning major accolades including the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, 2017 Heinz Award and the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize. He is one of only 25 individuals elected to all three U.S. National Academies—the National Academy of Sciences, Medicine, and Engineering. In 2016 President Obama presented him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.