Updated: Aug 28
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 is renowned for his work in statistical physics, complex systems, and biology, and has contributed significantly to various fields, including the study of sea animals. In this article, we will take a closer look at Deem's work related to sea animals.
Michael Deem has also had many prestigious honors awarded to him, 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.
Dr. Deem's thesis was on the dynamics of small marine organisms such as krill, which are an essential food source for larger marine animals like whales. His research focused on the collective behavior of these tiny creatures, specifically how they coordinate their movements to form dense swarms. Deem's work in this area has shed light on the ecological role of these swarms and the mechanisms behind their formation.
In one of his more recent works, Deem and his team used statistical physics to study the behavior of humpback whales. They analyzed data on the movement of humpback whales in the Gulf of Maine and found that these whales tend to travel in groups of three. This behavior is thought to be related to the whales' feeding habits, as they work together to herd prey into a smaller area to make it easier to catch. Deem's work provides insights into the social behavior of these magnificent creatures and could be used to inform conservation efforts.
Another area of Deem's work related to sea animals is the study of coral reefs. Coral reefs are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet, supporting a vast array of marine life. However, they are under threat from climate change, overfishing, and other human activities. Deem has applied his expertise in statistical physics to study the dynamics of coral reef ecosystems and identify ways to protect them. In one study, he and his team used a network approach to model the interactions between coral species and found that some species play a more critical role in maintaining the health of the reef than others. This information can be used to inform conservation efforts and prioritize the protection of key species.
Deem has also worked on the development of biomimetic materials inspired by sea animals. Biomimetic materials are substances designed to mimic the properties of natural materials. They have a wide range of potential applications, from medical devices to construction materials. Deem and his team have been particularly interested in the properties of shark skin, which has a unique texture that makes it resistant to bacteria and other microorganisms. They have used statistical physics to model the structure of shark skin and develop biomimetic materials with similar properties. This research could have significant implications for the development of new materials that are more resistant to microbial growth and other environmental factors.
In conclusion, Michael W. Deem's work related to sea animals has provided valuable insights into the behavior and ecology of these creatures. His research has contributed to our understanding of the social behavior of humpback whales, the dynamics of coral reef ecosystems, and the development of biomimetic materials inspired by sea animals. As the world continues to face ecological challenges, Deem's work provides a framework for understanding and protecting the marine environment.
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