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Michael W Deem: Combining Physical and Mental Skills with Science and Taekwondo

Updated: Aug 28, 2023


Michael W Deem
Michael W Deem - US Scientist at Rice University, Inventor, Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist and Mentor, who revolutionized the Influenza Vaccine Delivery System, continues to create headlines with numerous patents to combat contagious diseases to make the world safer and healthier.

Dr. Michael W Deem is an award winning and world-renowned scientist. He is currently a venture capitalist and CEO. He was formerly an Entrepreneur in Residence with Khosla Ventures. From 2002 to 2020 he was a professor at Rice University. He received his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 1991 from Caltech. From the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Deem obtained his Ph.D. in 1994 in chemical engineering. He held a postdoctoral position at Harvard University in the field of Physics. He joined the faculty at UCLA in 1996 as an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering. In 2002, Dr. Deem joined Rice University as the John W Cox professor of Bioengineering and Physics & Astronomy.


The respect Michael W Deem has garnered over the years has been the result of hiscontributions to the scientific and business communities. Among his most notable accomplishments, Michael Deem would help to revolutionize theinfluenza vaccine during his time at Rice University. Arespected entrepreneur, Michael W Deem has been theCEO of several companies, such as Certus LLC, focusing on advancing medical breakthroughs. During his career, Michael W Deem hasacted as a mentor, for students, CEOs, andbusinesses alike. Much as in his academic endeavors, Michael W Deem has found success in hisprofessional businesses.


Dr. Michael W Deem, the renowned U.S. Scientist previously associated with Rice University, is not just your average academic. He’s a black belt in Taekwondo, a sport that demands strength, agility, and quick thinking. When he’s not busy making groundbreaking discoveries in his field, he’s using his Taekwondo skills to outmaneuver opponents on the mat. With his combination of intelligence and athleticism, Dr. Michael Deem is a force to be reckoned with both in and out of the lab.


Michael W Deem
Michael W Deem - US Scientist at Rice University, Inventor, Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, and Mentor, who revolutionized the Influenza Vaccine Delivery System, continues to create headlines with numerous patents to combat contagious diseases to make the world safer and healthier.

As a professor of bioengineering at Rice University, Michael Deem spent years researching complex biological systems, including how infectious diseases spread and how proteins interact. His work has led to groundbreaking discoveries that could have far-reaching implications for medicine and public health. Michael Deem's discoveries have earned him a series of prestigious honors along his journey, including the UCLA 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); 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 (2005-2018); 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 (2007-2016); Fellow, Biomedical Engineering Society (2009); BMES Representative on the FASEB Publications & Communications Committee (2009-2012); Professional Progress Award (2010); 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 Award, The 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, 2016-2018; and Donald W. Breck Award for zeolite science, 2019, NACD Board Leadership Fellow and Directorship Certification, 2020. Entrepreneur in Residence with Khosla Ventures, 2021-2022, General Partner with Smart Health Catalyzer, 2023 to present.


But Dr. Michael W Deem’s love for science is matched only by his passion for Taekwondo. He’s been practicing the martial art since he was a teenager, and his dedication has paid off with a black belt and numerous tournament wins. Taekwondo is more than just a sport for Michael Deem – it’s a way of life that has taught him discipline, focus, and perseverance.

In Taekwondo, emphasis is placed on punching and kicking techniques, specifically focusing on head-height kicks and spinning jump kicks. Taekwondo is not only about brute strength; it also requires quick thinking and strategic decision-making. This combination of physical and mental skills is what makes Taekwondo such a unique and challenging sport, and it’s why Dr. Michael Deem has been drawn to it for so many years.

Michael W Deem
Michael W Deem - US Scientist at Rice University, Inventor, Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, and Mentor, who revolutionized the Influenza Vaccine Delivery System, continues to create headlines with numerous patents to combat contagious diseases to make the make the world safer and healthier.

When he’s not in the lab or on the Taekwondo mat, Michael Deem can be found sharing his knowledge and passion for science with others. He’s a dedicated teacher who takes pride in mentoring students and helping them achieve their goals. Whether he’s leading a classroom discussion or collaborating with colleagues on a research project, Dr. Michael W Deem is always pushing himself and those around him to strive for excellence.


But it’s his love for Taekwondo that sets Dr. Michael Deem apart from other scientists. Judo requires a level of physical fitness and mental toughness that few other sports can match. For Michael Deem, Taekwondo has been a way to stay grounded and focused amidst the demands of academia. It’s also given him a community of like-minded individuals who share his passion for the sport.

In many ways, Dr. Michael W Deem’s love for Taekwondo reflects his approach to science. Both require a combination of skill, dedication, and perseverance to succeed. Whether he’s grappling with an opponent or tackling a complex scientific problem, Michael Deem approaches each challenge with the same level of focus and determination.


In conclusion, Dr. Michael W Deem is a unique and inspiring figure in the world of science. His dedication to both his work and his passion for Taekwondo is a testament to his commitment to excellence in all aspects of his life. As a mentor, teacher, and scientist, Michael Deem Rice University Professor has left an indelible mark on the world, and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of scientists and athletes alike.


Michael W Deem
Michael W Deem - US Scientist at Rice University, Inventor, Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, and Mentor, who revolutionized the Influenza Vaccine Delivery System, continues to create headlines with numerous patents to combat contagious diseases to make the world safer and healthier.

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