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.

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.

Before joining Stanford in 2020, DeSimone was a professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and of chemical engineering at North Carolina State University. He is also Co-founder, Board Chair, and former CEO (2014 - 2019) of the additive manufacturing company, Carbon. DeSimone is responsible for numerous breakthroughs in his career in areas including green chemistry, medical devices, nanomedicine, and 3D printing. He has published over 350 scientific articles and is a named inventor on over 200 issued patents. Additionally, he has mentored 80 students through Ph.D. completion in his career, half of whom are women and members of underrepresented groups in STEM.

In 2016 DeSimone was recognized by President Barack Obama with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest U.S. honor for achievement and leadership in advancing technological progress. He has received numerous other major awards in his career, including the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (1997); the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention (2005); the Lemelson-MIT Prize (2008); the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2009); the AAAS Mentor Award (2010); the Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment (2017); the Wilhelm Exner Medal (2019); the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2019 U.S. Overall National Winner); and the Harvey Prize in Science and Technology (2020). He is one of only 25 individuals elected to all three branches of the U.S. National Academies (Sciences, Medicine, Engineering). DeSimone received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1986 from Ursinus College and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1990 from Virginia Tech.

Academic Appointments

2022-23 Courses

Stanford Advisees

All Publications

  • Transdermal vaccination via 3D-printed microneedles induces potent humoral and cellular immunity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Caudill, C., Perry, J. L., Iliadis, K., Tessema, A. T., Lee, B. J., Mecham, B. S., Tian, S., DeSimone, J. M. 2021; 118 (39)


    Vaccination is an essential public health measure for infectious disease prevention. The exposure of the immune system to vaccine formulations with the appropriate kinetics is critical for inducing protective immunity. In this work, faceted microneedle arrays were designed and fabricated utilizing a three-dimensional (3D)-printing technique called continuous liquid interface production (CLIP). The faceted microneedle design resulted in increased surface area as compared with the smooth square pyramidal design, ultimately leading to enhanced surface coating of model vaccine components (ovalbumin and CpG). Utilizing fluorescent tags and live-animal imaging, we evaluated in vivo cargo retention and bioavailability in mice as a function of route of delivery. Compared with subcutaneous bolus injection of the soluble components, microneedle transdermal delivery not only resulted in enhanced cargo retention in the skin but also improved immune cell activation in the draining lymph nodes. Furthermore, the microneedle vaccine induced a potent humoral immune response, with higher total IgG (Immunoglobulin G) and a more balanced IgG1/IgG2a repertoire and achieved dose sparing. Furthermore, it elicited T cell responses as characterized by functional cytotoxic CD8+ T cells and CD4+ T cells secreting Th1 (T helper type 1)-cytokines. Taken together, CLIP 3D-printed microneedles coated with vaccine components provide a useful platform for a noninvasive, self-applicable vaccination.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2102595118

    View details for PubMedID 34551974

  • Nanostructured Titania-Polymer Photovoltaic Devices Made Using PFPE-Based Nanomolding Techniques CHEMISTRY OF MATERIALS Williams, S. S., Hampton, M. J., Gowrishankar, V., Ding, I., Templeton, J. L., Samulski, E. T., DeSimone, J. M., McGehee, M. D. 2008; 20 (16): 5229-5234

    View details for DOI 10.1021/cm800729q

    View details for Web of Science ID 000258580500019

  • A Soft Lithography Route to Nanopatterned Photovoltaic Devices Conference on Nanoscale Photonic and Cell Technologies for Photovoltaics Williams, S. S., Hampton, M. J., Gowrishankar, V., Ding, I., Zhang, L., Ko, D., Templeton, J. L., DeSimone, J. M., McGehee, M. D., Samulski, E. T. SPIE-INT SOC OPTICAL ENGINEERING. 2008

    View details for DOI 10.1117/12.794853

    View details for Web of Science ID 000262507700010

  • COLL 177-Nanopatterning TiO2 for photovoltaic applications Williams, S., Earl, M. J., Zhou, Z., Gowrishankar, V., McGehee, M. D., Samulski, E. T., DeSimone, J. M. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2007
  • COLL 467-Nanotextured transparent semiconductor oxides for energy conversion Zhou, Z., Ko, D., Earl, M. J., Williams, S., Cheng, B., Gowrishankar, V., McGehee, M. D., DeSimone, J., Samulski, E. T. AMER CHEMICAL SOC. 2007