Dr. Shalaby W. Shalaby
Poly-Med, Inc.

Dr. Shalaby W. Shalaby is considered one of the forefathers of the bioresorbable polymer industry, with over 130 patents granted and author of 250 publications, including nine books. In the late 1970’s he led an exploratory group on polymers, for biomedical applications, at a large medical device company. During that time, he was one the lead inventors for several bioresorbable products, including the Vicryl® suture.

In 1990, his love for research and education brought him to Clemson University in South Carolina. He founded Poly-Med, Inc. in 1993 as a means to continue unfettered research and to teach and sponsor students’ education. Dr. Shalaby passed away in 2010, but his vision and mission continue today, through the dedicated work of Poly-Med employees.


Dr. Shalaby earned his undergraduate degrees in Chemistry, Botany, and Pharmacy in his native Egypt, at Ain Shams and Cairo Universities. Dr. Shalaby completed his graduate degrees at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, earning a M.S. in Textiles, a Ph.D. in Chemistry, and a second Ph.D. in Polymer Science.

After a postdoctoral assignment, he became a senior research chemist at Allied Signal, Polymer Research Group. Dr. Shalaby later joined Ethicon/Johnson & Johnson to start an exploratory group on polymers for biomedical applications. Dr. Shalaby’s focus was on new, absorbable, and radiation-sterilizable polymers. He also headed the Polymer Technology Center there.

Notable Awards

  • Society For Biomaterials – C. William Hall Award (posthumously), 2011
  • Election to the AIMBE College of Fellows, 2007
  • Society For Biomaterials – Technology Innovation and Development Award, 2006
  • Small Business Administration – Tibbetts Award for outstanding contributions to the SBIR program, 1988
  • Johnson & Johnson – Phillip Hoffman Award for Outstanding Scientist, 1979

His Legacy

From the very beginning, Poly-Med founder, Dr. Shalaby, encouraged his employees to continue education in pursuit of creativity. Today, this emphasis continues under Dr. Shalaby’s son, Dave Shalaby’s, leadership. Over 30 graduate theses have been earned through a partnership between Clemson University and Poly-Med, Inc. Through continual improvement by personal and professional growth, our employees are excited to make an impact on the medtech industry.

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