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Joseph DeSimone, Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of chemistry at Carolina, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors that a U.S. scientist or engineer can receive.
DeSimone is one of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates from 14 countries elected into the academy. He is the 12th UNC faculty member to be elected to the academy, a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to advancing science and technology and their use for the public good.
DeSimone also is William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of chemical engineering at N.C. State University.
With the new class of members announced by the academy on Tuesday, there are 2,152 active members and 430 foreign associates. The academy was established by Congress in 1863 as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology. Candidates for membership can be formally nominated only by academy members.
DeSimone holds more than 130 patents. His current projects include developing a nanoparticle vaccine for prostate cancer and creating particles that mimic red blood cells. He is a member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and an adjunct member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He also is co-founder of Liquidia Technologies, a Triangle-based nanotechnology company.
DeSimone also has been widely recognized for discovering a revolutionary way to use carbon dioxide in place of conventional organic solvents for environmentally responsible manufacturing, cleaning and processing.
In 2005, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, also a private, independent nonprofit that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation.