Michael Deem is currently a General Partner with SmartHealth Catalyzer and CEO of a startup. He was previously an Entrepreneur in Residence at Khosla Ventures. At Khosla, Michael was responsible for reviewing companies for portfolio inclusion, incubating startups, and mentoring portfolio companies. He worked in the life science and sustainability areas. Michael is an American engineer, scientist, and inventor.
Dr. Deem was with Rice University from 2002-2020. At Rice, he was the John W. Cox Professor of Bioengineering and Physics & Astronomy. He was chair of Bioengineering Department from 2014 to 2017. He was the founding director of the Graduate Program in Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology. This was the first PhD program in the US with ‘Synthetic Biology’ in the title.
Michael’s expertise lies in the life sciences and nanoporous materials. The Michael Deem Rice University group made many contributions. Among Michael’s fields of specializations are synthetic biology, evolution, vaccines, statistical mechanics, and zeolites.
Michael was an assistant and associate professor at UCLA, 1996-2002. He received his BS from the California Institute of Technology, PhD from UC Berkeley. He received a postdoctoral fellowship from Harvard University.
Michael is an experienced senior professional. He has operated in senior management, Board, and advisor capacities. His intellectual bandwidth has benefited companies from a wide cross section of industries. He has advanced life sciences, artificial intelligence, genomics, data science, biotechnology, energy, and cancer research.
Dr. Deem has published over 200 papers. He has given over 300 invited talks. He is listed as an inventor on 16 US patents. Michael W. Deem Rice University and UCLA professor has mentored hundreds of students and taught over 10000 of undergraduates.
Michael has made significant contributions to bioengineering, physics, and chemical engineering. He developed the widely used tools DIFFAX and ZEFSA for materials science. He created the widely used database of predicted zeolite structures. He invented the hierarchical approach to protein molecular evolution. He developed the pEpitope method to characterize vaccine effectiveness and antigenic distance for influenza. He developed the theory of modularity for biological evolution. He showed that changing environmental pressures lead to the spontaneous emergence of modularity in biological systems. He showed the importance of cross-species genetic exchange for rapid evolution. He developed the polytopic vaccination method for sculpting the immune response to multi-strain pathogens. He created a theory of the competition for access to antigen that allows HIV to escape recognition by the immune system. He has made major contributions to Monte Carlo simulation methods. He is widely recognized as an innovator. For these contributions, among others, Mike Deem received numerous awards.
Michael enjoys life, work, and play. He is an avid rock climber. He enjoys high-performance cars. And he is a long-time Taekwondo practitioner.