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Michael Deem's "Fitness Landscape" Model

Updated: Aug 25, 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.


Michael Deem has garnered numerous honors and awards to his name, such as 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.

At Rice University, Dr. Michael W Deem's research focused on understanding the mechanisms of evolution. He has developed several models to explain how genetic information changes over time and how it affects an organism's ability to survive and reproduce. His most significant contribution to the field has been the development of the "fitness landscape" model of evolution.


The "fitness landscape" model of evolution is a way of visualizing how genetic information changes over time. It is based on the idea that the fitness of an organism is determined by its genetic makeup, and that the genetic makeup can be represented as a set of coordinates on a graph. The fitness of the organism is represented by the height of the graph at each point. The higher the point, the more fit the organism is.

The fitness landscape model has important implications for understanding how evolution works. It shows that there are many possible paths that evolution can take, and that the path taken depends on the genetic makeup of the organism and the environmental conditions in which it lives. The model also shows that some paths are more likely than others, depending on the initial genetic makeup of the organism and the environment in which it lives.


Dr. Michael W Deem has used the fitness landscape model to study a wide range of biological systems, from bacteria to complex multicellular organisms. He has shown that the model can be used to predict the evolution of populations over time and to identify the genetic factors that are responsible for adaptation to new environments.


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. Deem's work on the fitness landscape model has been widely recognized by the scientific community. He has received numerous awards and honors for his contributions to evolutionary biology, including being elected a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


In addition to his work on the fitness landscape model, Dr. Michael W Deem has made significant contributions to a wide range of other fields, including physics, materials science, and computer science. He has published over 200 research papers and is highly regarded for his ability to bridge the gap between different scientific disciplines.


Dr. Michael W Deem is also known for his commitment to teaching and mentoring. He has supervised over 50 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry. He is highly regarded by his students and colleagues for his ability to explain complex scientific concepts in a clear and understandable way.


In conclusion, Dr. Michael W Deem is a highly accomplished US Scientist previously associated with Rice University who has made significant contributions to the field of evolutionary biology. His work on the fitness landscape model of evolution has helped to advance our understanding of how genetic information changes over time and how it affects an organism's ability to survive and reproduce. Dr. Deem's commitment to teaching and mentoring has also had a profound impact on the next generation of scientists in his field. We can expect to see many more groundbreaking contributions from Dr. Michael W Deem in the years to come.


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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