Photo of Dr. Joseph DeSimone, Professor of Radiology and of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University.
Clark Center Faculty, Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

Joseph M. DeSimone is the Sanjiv Sam Gambhir Professor of Translational Medicine and Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. He holds appointments in the Departments of Radiology and Chemical Engineering with courtesy appointments in the Department of Chemistry and in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Joe grew up in the Philadelphia area and studied chemistry at Ursinus College (PA). He went on to obtain his Ph.D. at Virginia Tech in 1990, joining the faculty at UNC that same year. Joe made scientific breakthroughs in areas including green chemistry, medical devices, and nanotechnology, also co-founding several companies based on his research. He quickly achieved international recognition as a scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur, earning major accolades including the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award and the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize. In 2016 President Obama awarded him the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor in the U.S. for achievement and leadership in advancing technological progress.

Joe co-founded Carbon, Inc in 2013 ( and served as the company’s CEO until being named Executive Chairman in 2019 till present. As CEO, Joe grew Carbon from a small team of scientists and engineers into an over 400-person global company valued at almost $2.5 billion that is defining the digital revolution in manufacturing. In recognition of his entrepreneurial success at Carbon, Joe was recognized as Ernst & Young LLP’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year 2019’ National Overall winner. In 2020, Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) named Carbon as ‘Company of the Year’.

As an academician, Joe built a strong culture in his research group centered on the notion that diversity is a fundamental tenet of innovation. He mentored 80 students through Ph.D. completion, half of whom are women and members of underrepresented groups in STEM. He credits much of his laboratory’s success to this approach, frequently emphasizing how both human and disciplinary diversity accelerate progress in team problem-solving.

An author of over 350 scientific publications (> 43,000 citations to his work as measured by Google Scholar “h-index” of 96), Joe is a named inventor on over 200 issued patents. He is one of only roughly 25 individuals elected to all three U.S. National Academies—the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Engineering.

At Stanford, Joe is launching programs with themes in:

  • Chemical Engineering and Material Science
  • Translational Medicine and
  • Entrepreneurship, Digital transformation & Manufacturing

The DeSimone laboratory's research efforts are focused on developing innovative, interdisciplinary solutions to complex problems centered around advanced polymer 3D fabrication methods. In Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, the lab is pursuing new capabilities in digital 3D printing, as well as the synthesis of new polymers for use in advanced additive technologies. In Translational Medicine, research is focused on exploiting 3D digital fabrication tools to engineer new vaccine platforms, enhanced drug delivery approaches, and improved medical devices for numerous conditions, with a current major focus in pediatrics. Complementing these research areas, the DeSimone group has a third focus in Entrepreneurship, Digital Transformation, and Manufacturing.