Kevin Kimberlin

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Kevin Kimberlin is chairman of Spencer Trask & Co, an advanced technology venture capital firm.[1] Kimberlin has distinguished himself by backing "obsessive missionaries",[2] such as Jonas Salk, Walter Gilbert, and John Wennberg.


In 1982, Kimberlin invested in and structured the first outside financing for Millicom, which helped the company form its joint venture called Racal–Millicom—renamed Vodafone Group plc.[3] Vodafone serves more than 400 million mobile phone users globally.[when?]

Kevin Kimberlin co-founded Ciena Corporation with Dr. David Huber to create the first dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) system.[4] It was powered by Ciena’s patented dual-stage optical amplifier,[5] which George Gilder called "an invention comparable to the integrated circuit."[6] As the driver of all high-capacity fiber communications networks around the world, DWDM enabled the explosive growth of the Internet and continues as its foundation today.[7]

Prior to its public offering, Kimberlin was the sole general partner of Next Level Communications, a broadband access leader, 20% owned by Kimberlin LLC and 80% owned by General Instrument Corporation.[8] Kimberlin guided Next Level through its IPO, achieving a market capitalization of $17 billion before it was acquired by Motorola in 2002.[9]


In 1986, Kimberlin co-founded the Immune Response Corporation with Jonas Salk[10] to develop the first FDA-approved cancer vaccine and a vaccine for AIDS.[11] Kimberlin helped the company raise over $350 million to support this cause.

He then co-founded Myriad Genetics, the first human genome company, with Nobel Prize winner Dr. Walter Gilbert, Peter Meldrum, and Dr. Mark Skolnick, who with several colleagues devised the gene-mapping technique that catalyzed the Human Genome Project.[12] Myriad Genetics received international acclaim by discovering the breast cancer gene, BRCA1.[13] About the discovery, James Watson, co-discoverer of the double-helix structure of DNA, said there is "no more exciting story in medical science."[14]

Kimberlin also co-founded the first stem cell company, Osiris Therapeutics. Osiris uses adult stem cells to bypass the ethical and moral controversy surrounding this scientific breakthrough. A leader in stem cell research, Osiris received the world's first regulatory approval for a stem cell-based therapy in 2012 and a living stem cell treatment for acute and chronic wounds.[15]

Kimberlin helped launch Health Dialog based on the research of John Wennberg whose clinical studies precipitated[16] the Affordable Care Act.[17] Health Dialog provided $110 million to support Wennberg’s research at the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation.[18] By putting patients in charge of their medical decisions, Health Dialog lowers cost and improves quality of health care for 18 million people. It grew into one of the fastest growing private companies in America[19] and was acquired by British United Provident Association (Bupa) for $775 million.[20]


Philanthropic endeavors support science, education and creativity, including the Audubon Society, Harvard University, and Yaddo, the artist community founded 100 years ago by Spencer Trask and his wife. Kimberlin serves as a director of Yaddo.[21]

Personal life[edit]

In 2014 Kimberlin was reported as one of a number of "prominent investors [who] have taken to Transcendental Meditation".[22]


  1. ^ Businessweek, Executive Profile
  2. ^ Gordon, Joanne and Mary Beth Grover. "200 Best Small Companies: Celestial Cast of Characters." Forbes, 2 November 1998: 192.
  3. ^ "History – Vodafone" Welcome to Vodafone – Vodafone. 2007. Vodafone Group Plc. 21 June 2007,
  4. ^
  5. ^ United States Patent #5696615; "Wavelength division multiplexed optical communication systems employing uniform gain optical amplifiers." (USPTO)
  6. ^ – MCI ID: 409-1174 "Into the Fibersphere" and Forbes magazine, “Dark Fiber, Dumb Network," George Gilder
  7. ^ IEEE Industrial Innovation Award:
  8. ^
  9. ^ Next Level Communications acquired by Motorola
  10. ^ Hero With Something to Prove, Los Angeles Times, SHERYL STOLBERG, p.1, March 7, 1993
  11. ^ The National Institutes of Health —
  12. ^ Breakthrough: The Race to find the Breast Cancer Gene by Kevin Davies and Michael White, Wiley Publishing; page 199
  13. ^ Waldholz, Michael. "Scientists Say They’ve Found Gene That Causes Breast Cancer—Study Could Lead to Test For Those at High Risk Of Inheriting Disease." Wall Street Journal [New York] 14 Sept. 1994: B7
  14. ^ Brown, Phyllida. "Breast Cancer: a lethal inheritance—Geneticists are close to identifying a gene that can lead to hereditary breast cancer. But at first this breakthrough could raise more problems than it solves." New Scientist 18 Sept. 1993: 34.
  15. ^ Pollack, Andrew (17 May 2012). "A Stem-Cell-Based Drug Gets Approval in Canada". The New York Times. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ Dartmouth Exemplifies Academics Informing Policy, Says Economist Peter Orszag
  18. ^ John Billings, "Shared Decision Making: Another Legacy of John E. Wennberg," New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, October 15, 2013; page 65
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ New York Times, 12/24/98
  22. ^ Goodkind, Nicole. "Could this be the key to success on Wall Street? Hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio thinks so". Retrieved 15 May 2014. "The technique ... is popular with folks like Bridgewater's Ray Dalio (who offers TM to his 400 employees), Bill Gross, Dan Loeb, Nigol Koulajian (Quest Partners) and Kevin Kimberlin (Spencer Trask & Co)." 

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