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Joachim Kohn, PhD


Joachim Kohn, PhD, FBSE is a national leader in the field of biomaterials science. In 1997, Kohn founded the New Jersey Center for Biomaterials (NJCBM), which has established a network for research and collaboration with 25 institutions and 40 laboratories. Research at the NJCBM focuses on design, synthesis, characterization and fabrication of new biomaterials for regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and drug delivery. Kohn has pioneered the use of combinatorial and computational methods for the optimization of biomaterials for specific medical applications. He is mostly known for his seminal work on “pseudo-poly(amino acid)s”- a new class of polymers that combine the non-toxicity of individual amino acids with the processability and strength of high-quality engineering plastics. Medical devices (a coronary stent and an antimicrobial device to prevent infections in pacemaker patients) using these materials have been implanted in more than 350,000 patients and are currently approved for use in 46 countries. As a translational scientist, Kohn has 72 issued US Patents on novel biomaterials and seven companies have licensed his technologies. He is the scientific founder of three spin-off companies.

Awards & Distinctions

  • 2020 National Award in Applied Polymer Science from the American Chemical Society
  • 2019 Society for Biomaterials Founders Award
  • 2018 Healthcare Heroes Award
  • 2017 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for best patent in biomaterials in New Jersey presented by the Research and Development Council of New Jersey
  • 2014 Recipient of the Research Award from the Health Care Institute of New Jersey for contributions to life sciences and healthcare
  • 2013 Fellow, National Academy of Inventors