Dr. Michael Deem has been at the forefront of some of the biggest medical breakthroughs in recent history and it’s a trend he intends to continue. Among his many accolades, the former professor at Rice University led a team that helped revolutionize the influenza vaccine.
“The technology that we developed can help predict how effective the vaccine will be and it’s used on six of the seven continents now,” says Deem.
But it’s not all academic for the former life sciences professor. He is currently the CEO of several companies and helps lead multiple venture capital ventures that are advancing other medical breakthroughs. Deem says his passion for mentoring others is what drives him.
“Mentoring is something that’s near and dear to my heart because this is what we do as teachers,” says Deem. “We develop our students. We mentor our undergraduates, but also, we mentor our peers.”
That passion now plays well in the business world.
“In the business community, we mentor our companies, we mentor our CEOs, mentor our board members. We also mentor each other. In this way, we develop our ecosystem of creation, of driving inventions for the future.”
Deem adds his ability to merge the two paradigms deems him an ideal leader for other entrepreneurs.
“In both cases, we’re trying to create new technologies. We’re trying to bring new ideas to fruition, and that’s always difficult. So, it requires a lot of persistence to be successful in both fields.
“As an entrepreneur, we’re working with our company. We’re working with my network of venture capitalists. We’re working with other CEOs from other companies, and we’re working within this ecosystem that’s bringing positive change to the world. We’re developing new technology. We’re developing the economy of the U.S. and the world for the better.”
Deem says he’s seeing a trend now with venture capitalists now capitalizing on the expertise of others from academia.
“One of the things we do well in academics is we characterize, and we measure our systems and processes. Biology and life sciences are generally messy and unpredictable, so the better we can characterize them, the more successful our companies will be. We can also develop our human capital,” says Deem.
Deem says he intends to continue making capital gains for other businesses.
“I’d like to perhaps be CEO of one or two or three more companies,” says Deem. “I’d like to continue as a general partner of the fund and help grow the fund not only for our investment partners but also for our portfolio companies. I want to help them be successful and help them invent the future.”
Michael Deem is an experienced senior professional who has operated in senior management, Board, and advisor capacities with companies ranging from start-up, to rapid growth, to large multi-national companies. Deem is currently a General Partner at SmartHealth Catalyzer and a CEO of a startup.
His intellectual bandwidth has benefited companies from a wide cross section of industries that include Life Sciences, Artificial Intelligence, Genomics, Data Science, Biotechnology, Energy, and Cancer Research.
From 2021-2022 Deem was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Khosla Ventures. Michael Deem was previously the chair of Bioengineering at Rice University. He was the John W. Cox Professor of Bioengineering and Physics & Astronomy at Rice University from 2002-2020. He was an assistant and associate professor at UCLA from 1996-2002. He received his BS from the California Institute of Technolgy in 1991, his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1994, and a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University from 1995-1996.
To contact Deem, go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaeldeem/