Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Liquidia Founder, Joseph DeSimone, Named Director of Kenan Institute

CED Member Liquidia Technologies reported yesterday that one of the Company’s founders, Dr. Joseph DeSimone, was named the new Director of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s, Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Dr. DeSimone replaces John D. Kasarda, who retired from the Kenan Institute after 22 years of service. The Kenan Institute, part of UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, pursues cutting-edge research, educational programs and public policy initiatives in the areas of entrepreneurship, economic development and global competitiveness.

“We are very proud of Joe and his well deserved appointment as the new Director of the Kenan Institute,” said Neal Fowler, Chief Executive Officer at Liquidia Technologies. “Joe is a scientific and entrepreneurial visionary whose experiences and accomplishments make him well suited to lead an organization that empowers others who aspire to build successful businesses in our region.”

Dr. DeSimone is the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill and William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University. He is also an adjunct member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. In April, Dr. DeSimone was elected into the National Academy of Sciences and has been the recipient of over 40 major awards and recognitions including the 2010 AAAS Mentor Award, the 2009 NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, and the 2008 Lemelson-MIT Prize. In 2005 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. DeSimone has published more than 280 scientific articles and has 130 patents to his name with over 120 patents pending. He received his B.S. in chemistry in 1986 from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA, and his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1990 from Virginia Tech.

Dr. DeSimone and colleagues founded Liquidia in 2004 based on discoveries from his lab at UNC using advanced lithographic techniques from the semiconductor industry to create a highly advanced product development and manufacturing platform known as the PRINT platform. By using the PRINT platform, Liquidia and its partners have the ability to create advanced vaccines, biologic and small molecule medicines that can be used to address a variety of unmet medical needs.

“I am both humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead such a prestigious institution and look forward to playing a more active role in the economic development of our region,” said Dr. DeSimone. “This position is ideal as it allows me to continue the robust research efforts in my academic lab that support the advancement of the PRINT platform, while also contributing to the success of innovations and entrepreneurial activities being created within our state.”

Visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Hawkins Kenan created the Kenan Institute in 1985 to promote collaboration among business, government and academia and to promote the growth of private enterprise worldwide and the use of private-sector resources to serve the public interest. Nearly three decades later, the impact of the institute's research and initiatives is visible in thriving communities and companies from rural North Carolina to the Greater Mekong sub-region of Asia.

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