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The Multifaceted Life of US Scientist Michael W Deem: From Groundbreaking Research to Rock ClimbinG

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 his contributions to the scientific and business communities. Among his most notable accomplishments, Michael Deem would help to revolutionize the influenza vaccine during his time at Rice University. A respected entrepreneur, Michael W Deem has been the CEO of several companies, such as Certus LLC, focusing on advancing medical breakthroughs. During his career, Michael W Deem has acted as a mentor, for students, CEOs, and businesses alike. Much as in his academic endeavors, Michael W Deem has found success in his professional businesses.


Dr. Michael W Deem has made significant contributions to the fields of physics, biology, and engineering, and is a respected member of the scientific community. As such, he has garnered notoriety with an impressive number of achievements, like 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.


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.

Despite his impressive academic achievements, Dr. Michael W Deem is not your typical scientist. He enjoys pushing his limits outside of the lab and is an avid rock climber and Taekwondo practitioner. In fact, he even owns a Porsche that he likes to take for a spin when he has some free time!


Dr. Michael W Deem's research focuses on applying statistical mechanics to problems in biology and engineering. He has made groundbreaking contributions to fields such as protein folding, RNA structure prediction, and virus evolution. He has also worked on projects related to renewable energy, including developing more efficient solar cells.


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.


Despite his many achievements in academia, Dr. Michael W Deem is known for being down-to-earth and approachable. He is a dedicated teacher and mentor and has advised many students and postdoctoral fellows over the course of his career. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars and is always happy to share his knowledge and insights with others.


Outside of his work, Dr. Michael W Deem is a passionate advocate for outdoor activities. He is an experienced rock climber and has climbed many challenging routes in Texas, including Ding Dong and Taco Sauce. He is also a black belt in Taekwondo and has competed in tournaments at both the national and international levels. In his free time, he enjoys driving his Porsche and exploring the scenic roads around Houston.



Despite his many interests and hobbies, Dr. Michael W Deem remains committed to his work in academia. He is a respected member of the scientific community and has received numerous awards and accolades for his research. He is also an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.


In conclusion, Dr. Michael W Deem is an accomplished U.S. Scientist previously associated with Rice University who has made significant contributions to the fields of physics, biology, and engineering. He is also an avid rock climber, Taekwondo practitioner, and Porsche enthusiast. His passion for science and the outdoors is an inspiration to many, and he continues to inspire future generations of scientists with his groundbreaking research and dedication to teaching.


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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