Kevin Kimberlin

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Kevin Kimberlin is chairman of Spencer Trask & Co., an advanced technology firm. Kimberlin has distinguished himself by partnering with or backing "obsessive missionaries" including Jonas Salk, Walter Gilbert, John Wennberg and Robert Langer.


At the birth of the mobile phenomenon in 1982, Kimberlin invested in Millicom, the only startup selected by the Federal Communications Commission to demonstrate the feasibility of cellular telephony.[1][2][3] As advisor to the CEO, he structured the first equity financing for Millicom, which was the impetus for the Racal–Millicom joint venture —subsequently renamed Vodafone Group plc.[4] By August 2000, Vodafone was the largest communications firm and the 7th most valuable public company, with a peak market cap of $404 billion.[5] Today Vodafone serves more than 640 million mobile phone users globally.[6]

Kimberlin co-founded Ciena Corporation with Optelecom and David R. Huber to commercialize the first dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) system,[7][8][9] powered by Ciena’s patented dual-stage optical amplifier.[10] As the common basis of all high-capacity fiber communications networks around the world,[11] WDM enabled the explosive growth of the Internet and serves as its foundation today.[12][13] By 2019, Ciena was the #1 ranked innovator and the market share leader in high capacity networking, supporting 1,500 customers comprising 85% of the world's largest communications providers.[14]

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.[15] Kimberlin guided Next Level through its IPO, achieving a market capitalization of $17 billion before it was acquired by Motorola in 2002.[16]


In 1986, Kimberlin co-founded the Immune Response Corporation with Jonas Salk.[17] The Immune Response Corporation patented the basis of the first FDA approved cancer vaccine, and pioneered the field of immunotherapy.[18]

He then co-founded Myriad Genetics, the first human genome company, with Nobel Prize winner Dr. Walter Gilbert, Peter Meldrum, and Dr. Mark Skolnick, the scientist who, with several colleagues, devised the gene-mapping technique that catalyzed the Human Genome Project.[19] Myriad Genetics received international acclaim by discovering the breast cancer gene, BRCA1.[20]

Osiris Therapeutics, also co-founded by Kevin Kimberlin, patented and developed the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC). As of June 2020, a search of MSC in turned up 1,116 clinical trials registered to treat 928 different medical conditions. Using the MSC as a drug, Osiris received the world's first regulatory approval for a stem cell-based therapy and is recognized as a leader in regenerative medicine.[21]

Kimberlin helped launch Health Dialog based on the research of John Wennberg whose clinical studies precipitated[22][23] the Affordable Care Act.[24] Health Dialog provided $130 million in support of Wennberg’s efforts to put patients in charge of their medical decisions.[25] By lowering the cost and improving the quality of health care for 18 million people, Health Dialog grew into one of the fastest-growing private companies in America.[26] The firm was acquired by British United Provident Association for $775 million.[27]

Kimberlin supported Robert Langer in two of the three ventures he discusses in his biography. He was a founding shareholder in Langer's first company, Enzytech which later merged to form Alkermes,[28] and the third largest shareholder in his InVivo Therapeutics.[29]


Kimberlin's philanthropic endeavors in environmental science, education, and creativity include the Audubon Society, Harvard University and Yaddo, the artist community founded 100 years ago by Spencer Trask and his wife. Kimberlin serves as a lifetime honorary director of Yaddo.[30]

Personal life[edit]

In 2014, Kimberlin was reported as one of a number of "prominent investors [who] have taken to Transcendental Meditation".[31] He received his Bachelor of Sciences degree from Indiana University and his master's degree from Harvard University.


  1. ^ Garrard, Garry (1997). Cellular Communications: Worldwide Market Development. Artech House Publishers. p. 32.
  2. ^ Forrester, Tom (1985). The Information Technology Revolution. The MIT Press. p. 142.
  3. ^ Mack, Eric. "There Are Now More Gadgets on Earth Than People". CBS-CNET.
  4. ^ Merriden, Trevor (2003). Rollercoaster: The Turbulent Life and Times of Vodafone and Chris Gent. Capstone Publishing Ltd. (A John Wiley & Sons Co.). p. 21.
  5. ^ "The World's 100 Largest Public Companies". The Wall Street Journal. September 25, 2000.
  6. ^ "AT&T and Vodafone Business in Commercial Inter-carrier Arrangement for NB-IoT Roaming Across U.S. and Europe". Bloomberg. October 23, 2019.
  7. ^ Anders, George. “With Ciena, Investors Hit a Jackpot That's One for the Record Books”. June 5, 1998.
  8. ^ Hecht, Jeff (October 2016). "Boom, Bubble, Bust: The Fiber Optic Mania". Optics and Photonics News: Cover story.
  9. ^ "Fiber-Optic Technology Draws Record Stock Value". The New York Times. 3 March 1997.
  10. ^ United States Patent #5696615; "Wavelength division multiplexed optical communication systems employing uniform gain optical amplifiers." (USPTO)
  11. ^ Grobe, Klaus and Eiselt, Michael; Wavelength Division Multiplexing: A Practical Engineering Guide, John T Wiley & Sons; October 2013. p. 2.
  12. ^ IEEE Innovation Award 2012, “Steve Alexander honored by IEEE.” IEEE Communications Society
  13. ^ Hecht, Jeff. “The Bandwidth Bottleneck That is Throttling the Internet”. Scientific American.
  14. ^ Cisco IHS Markit Vendor Scorecard “Optical Network Hardware.” July 19, 2019.
  15. ^ "Motorola deal spurred by changes in tech - Philadelphia Business Journal".
  16. ^ Motorola, Inc. "Next Level Partners LLC Tenders Shares to Motorola".
  17. ^ Jacobs, Charlotte (2015-01-01). Jonas Salk: A Life. Oxford University Press. pp. 432. ISBN 9780199334414. immune response corporation kimberlin.
  18. ^ "Sipuleucel-T: APC 8015, APC-8015, prostate cancer vaccine". Drugs in R&D. 7 (3): 197–201. 2006. doi:10.2165/00126839-200607030-00006. PMID 16752945.
  19. ^ Davies, Kevin and White, Michael. "Breakthrough: The Race to find the Breast Cancer Gene". Wiley Publishing. page 199
  20. ^ 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
  21. ^ Pollack, Andrew. "A Stem-Cell-Based Drug Gets Approval in Canada". The New York Times. May 17 2012.
  22. ^ Suskind, Ron (2011). Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President. Harper. p. 138.
  23. ^ Lizza, Ryan. "Money Talks". The New Yorker. May 4 2009.
  24. ^ Boutwell, Susan and Grant, Martin. "Dartmouth Exemplifies Academics Informing Policy, Says Economist Peter Orszag". Dartmouth. Feb 9 2012.
  25. ^ Billings, John. "Shared Decision Making: Another Legacy of John E. Wennberg". New York University. Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. page 65. Oct 15 2013.
  26. ^ Inc. Magazine Reveals America's 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies; Health Dialog Services Corporation Makes Inc. 500 for Third Year in a Row
  27. ^ Health Dialog sold in $775M deal; Boston Business Journal; Dec 18, 2007.
  28. ^ Langer, Robert; Zhang, Shuguang (2015-11-19). "The Struggles and Dreams of Robert Langer". Series in Structural Biology. 5. doi:10.1142/9918. ISBN 978-981-4749-03-9. ISSN 2424-8398.
  29. ^ "Form S-1". Retrieved 2021-01-05.
  30. ^ Gelder, Lawrence. "Footlights: Looking Ahead". The New York Times. December 24 1998.
  31. ^ 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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