Dr. Deem’s Achievements Through the Years

Michael Deem

April 18, 2023

Michael W. Deem
Michael Deem

Michael Deem

Michael W. Deem | Dr. Deem’s Achievements Through the Years

Dr. Michael W Deem is a renowned U.S. scientist.  His is also a venture capitalist and CEO.  He started in venture capital as an Entrepreneur in Residence with Khosla Ventures.  He was previously at Rice University, where he held the position of the John W. Cox Professor in Biochemical and Genetic Engineering. Over the years, Rice University became synonymous with groundbreaking research and innovative ideas, thanks in part to the efforts of Dr. Deem and his colleagues.  Prior to that he was at UCLA.   From early days, his name was synonymous with innovation and thought-provoking research.

Michael W Deem received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the California Insitute of Technology in 1991. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1994. After completing his doctoral studies, Dr. Deem was Director of Drug Design at CuraGen Corporation ($100M IPO in 1998), and then was a postdoctoral fellow in Physics at Harvard University, under David R. Nelson.  Dr. Deem joined the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he gained tenure in four years.  He moved a couple years later to Rice University in 2002 as the John W. Cox Professor of Bioengineering.

At Rice, Dr. Michael Deem established himself as a pioneer in the field of bioengineering. He has published over 200 research papers, many of which are considered seminal contributions to the field. He has given over 300 invited talks.  He holds 16 US patents.  Dr. Deem’s research focuses on the development and application of computational tools to better understand the fundamental principles of biology, as well as to design new biomolecules and biological systems with novel functions.

Michael Deem

Michael Deem

One Dr. Michael Deem’s research fields is viral evolution. He and his team have developed computational models that can predict the evolution of influenza and other viruses, which can be used to develop more effective vaccines and antiviral drugs.  Deem’s method can also predict the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine.   This research has important implications for public health, particularly in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  It is used by public health authorities on the six inhabited continents of the world.

Protein engineering is another aspect of Dr. Deem’s research. He and his team have developed computational tools that can be used to design new proteins with specific functions, such as enzymes that can catalyze new chemical reactions or antibodies that can bind to specific targets. This work has potential applications in a wide range of fields, including medicine, energy, and agriculture.

The theory of modularity has played a big central role in Dr. Deem’s research.  He first showed theoretically how modularity can be selected for and evolves in stressful environments.  He showed how the world trade network changes its modular structure in response to global recessions.  And he showed how the modularity of neuronal activity in human brains in related to their ability to problem solve.

In addition to his research, Dr. Michael W Deem is also a dedicated teacher and mentor.   Starting at UCLA and continuing at Rice University, he has taught over 10 000 undergraduates in many aspects of chemical engineering, bioengineering, and physics.  He has supervised over 50 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry.  He has taught thousands of undergraduates.  Dr. Deem is known for his engaging and innovative teaching style, which has earned him several awards and accolades.

Dr. Deem received numerous awards, including the Fannie and John Hertz Fellow (1991-1994); Senior Research Scientist, CuraGen Corporation (1994-1995); NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Chemistry (1995-1996); Assistant and tenured Associate Professor, UCLA (1996-2002); NSF CAREER Award (1997-2001); Northrop Grumman Outstanding Junior Faculty Research Award (1997); Visiting Professor, University of Amsterdam (1999); A Top 100 Young Innovator, MIT’s Technology Review (November 1999) (Profile and Original Profile); Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (2000); Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2002); John W. Cox Professor, Rice University (2002-2020); Allan P. Colburn Award (2004); Editorial Board Member, Protein Engineering, Design and Selection (2005-present); Fellow, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2005); Member, Board of Directors, Biomedical Engineering Society (2005-2008); Fellow, American Physical Society (2006); Member, Rice University Faculty Senate (2006-2009); Vaughan Lectureship, California Institute of Technology (2007); Member, Nominating Committee, Division of Biological Physics, American Physical Society (2007); Member, Board of Governors, Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter (2007-present); Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society (2009); BMES Representative on the FASEB Publications & Communications Committee (2009-2012); Professional Progress Award (2010) (Profile); Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2010); External Scientific Advisor, Princeton Physical Sciences-Oncology Center (2010-present); Associate Editor, Physical Biology (2011-2018); Edith and Peter O’Donnell AwardThe Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (2012); Founding Director, Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology (2012-2014, raised $0.5M seed funding); Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar (2012-2013); Chair, Department of Bioengineering (2014-2017, raised $12M in external startup funding for new faculty); Editorial Advisory Board, Bioengineering and Translational Medicine, (2016-2019); Donald W. Breck Award for zeolite science (2019); and NACD Board Leadership Fellow and Directorship Certification (2020).

Dr. Deem is also an entrepreneur and co-founder of several companies, in addition to his academic work. He has used his expertise in computational modeling to help develop new technologies, design new drugs, and support the development of treatments for major debilitating diseases.

In summary, Dr. Michael W Deem is an innovator and pioneer in the field of bioengineering. His research has led to significant advances in our understanding of biology and has the potential to transform many areas of science and technology. As a mentor and teacher, he has inspired and trained a new generation of scientists and engineers who are carrying on his legacy of excellence. We can only imagine what groundbreaking discoveries and innovations are yet to come from this brilliant U.S. Scientist Michael Deem, and we eagerly await his future contributions to the world of science.

Michael Deem

Michael Deem

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