Featured Inventor: Dr. John DesJardins

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John DesJardins

Assistant Professor, Bioengineering
Director of Bioengineering Abroad Programs

Dr. John Desjardins is the founder of the Clemson University Retrieval of Explants Program and Registry in Orthopaedics (CU-REPRO), which is a regional repository that collects and studies explanted total joint devices. He also serves as the Director of the Laboratory of Orthopaedic Design and Engineering at Clemson University, and the Frank H. Stelling and C. Dayton Riddle Orthopaedic Education and Research Laboratory at CUBEInC. His research interests include total joint replacements, orthopaedic biomechanics, and biomaterials – about which he has co-authored over 150 peer-reviewed conference or journal publications.

Dr. Desjardins also founded Clemson’s undergraduate bioengineering study abroad programs, and directs/assists with international programs in Spain, Singapore, and Tanzania. He currently leads or is a co-PI on many multi-disciplinary research teams for projects funded through NASA, DoT, NSF, the Gates Foundation, biomedical industry and other regional non-profit foundations. As an assistant professor in Bioengineering, he is the director of the senior capstone design courses, where he mentors 15+ small teams annually to develop innovative biomedical devices in partnership with local industry or clinical partners. Click here to see a list of Dr. Desjardins’s publications.

Clemson University researchers received 15 patents in 2017

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Among the 15 patents issued to Clemson University researchers in 2017 were technologies for monitoring and controlling electric power systems, Cartesian robotic printers, lockable knee implants and composite membranes for hydrogen separation.

Inventors, entrepreneurs and university representatives gathered recently to honor Clemson University’s top inventors and patent recipients during the annual Patent Award Ceremony hosted by the Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF), which facilitates and manages technology transfer for Clemson faculty.

In addition to recognizing faculty members who received patents in 2017, CURF presented the first Inventor’s Club Awards, a new honor for inventors whose innovations have taken steps toward commercialization.

The event promoted the spirit of innovation at Clemson University through showcasing the 15 patents issued for the calendar year of 2017, adding to CURF’s growing portfolio of more than 150 Clemson University technologies available for licensing. The awards program recognized researcher contributions to a variety of fields, including advanced materials, biomedical science and electrical and computer engineering.

“This networking event allows Clemson’s most innovative minds to convene in one place and be recognized for their contributions to the research community,” said Chris Gesswein, Executive Director of CURF.  “It’s a privilege to honor these inventors and celebrate how research at Clemson impacts the world. Congratulations to all the inventors for their hard work and dedication.”

Guest speaker Jack Ellenberg, Associate Vice President for the Office of Corporate Partnerships and Strategic Initiatives, gave a presentation titled “Clemson External Affairs: Reenergizing Strategic Corporate Engagement.”

CURF works alongside the university’s Division of Research to provide support to Clemson-affiliated inventors and entrepreneurs though patent protection, marketing, education, material transfer and license negotiation services. This awards event was held in conjunction with the university’s annual Research Symposium, “Moving ClemsonForward through Research.”

For a complete list of patents received in 2017, click here.

For a list of Inventor’s Club Award recipients, click here.

CURF names Executive Director

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A seasoned business executive and product-development professional has been tapped to lead the Clemson University Research Foundation (CURF).


As CURF executive director, Chris Gesswein is charged with commercializing innovative Clemson technology and intellectual property and nurturing private-sector partnerships that will advance scientific discovery at Clemson and support economic growth. Gesswein, who joined CURF in 2014 as director of licensing for technology transfer, has served as interim director since 2017.

“CURF serves as the intersection of university research and the economy. Chris’ business savvy and understanding of research and development will benefit Clemson faculty, industry and the South Carolina economy,” said Tanju Karanfil, vice president for research.

Prior to joining CURF, Gesswein was vice president of business development at Ultradian Diagnostics, a startup he helped nurture to a clinical-stage medical device company while overseeing fundraising, regulatory compliance and research grants management. He has more than 20 years of experience bringing various technologies from concept to market working as a new product development and technology transfer specialist for early-stage startups as well as large multinational companies. Gesswein also operated a consulting business to assist mid-market life sciences companies and has been a co-author on approximately 21 federal SBIR/STTR and state technology-development grants.

Gesswein received his master’s degree in biotechnology and molecular biology from Johns Hopkins University and his bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University. He has an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and is a member of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, the Association of University Technology Managers and the Licensing Executive Society.

“With a deep understanding of business, product development and research, Chris is well-positioned to lead a great team at CURF and was an easy, unanimous choice by the board to move the organization forward,” said CURF board Chairman George Acker.

The Clemson University Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) corporation organized exclusively for charitable, educational or scientific purposes to promote the research enterprise at Clemson University.

Through an agency agreement with the university, the foundation is commercializing intellectual property through technology transfer; licensing agreements and new venture formations; and assisting with research development through a foundation-sponsored technology maturation program and participation in early-stage research grants and sponsored research activities.

*This article was originally published on the Clemson Newsstand. Read the full article here.*