Donald Tomalia

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Donald A. Tomalia (born September 5, 1938) is an American chemist who is known as one of the early discoverers of dendrimers.


Tomalia earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan, a master's degree from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in physical organic chemistry from Michigan State University. He worked at Dow Chemical for many years as a research scientist. In 1979, Tomalia created synthetic particles known as dendrimers, which have been used in nanotechnology and pharmaceuticals.[1]

In 1992, Tomalia founded his own company, Dendritech. The company was purchased by Dow Chemical in a few years later. Tomalia was the scientific director of the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology at the University of Michigan Medical School. In 2001, Tomalia started Dendritic NanoTechnologies at Central Michigan University; Starpharma of Australia provided seed money for the venture and Dow took an equity position a few years later.[2]

In 2010, Tomalia founded NanoSynthons, LLC, in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.[3] In 2016, he was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.[4] He has been named a Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate.[5]


  1. ^ Halford, Bethany (June 13, 2005). "Dendrimers branch out". Chemical & Engineering News. 83 (24): 30–36. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  2. ^ McCarthy, Alice A. (May 2005). "Dendritic NanoTechnologies, Inc". Chemistry & Biology. 12 (5): 499–501. doi:10.1016/j.chembiol.2005.05.006. Retrieved February 3, 2017.
  3. ^ "Donald A. Tomalia". Science History Institute. Retrieved March 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "2016 AAAS Fellows honored for advancing science to serve society". American Association for the Advancement of Science. November 21, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  5. ^ "Hall of Citation Laureates". Retrieved February 3, 2017.