James deMelo is the Finance and Grants Administrator for the Lemelson-MIT Program. After spending the first 10 years of his career working in academic research labs studying stem cells, genetics, and the neuroscience of sleep and memory, he began to look for ways in which he could affect changes in academia on a broader level. In service to that aim, he chose to focus his master’s research on ways in which academic labs could become more efficient by utilizing tools from the private sector, as well as how they could better prepare graduate students and post-docs to become not just good scientists, but good managers and leaders.
More recently he has spent time focusing more on the financial aspects of academia while shifting towards programs with an equity-based mission. He spent as Associate Director of Finance and Administration at the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship, before landing at Lemelson-MIT to support with the work of bringing invention education to all students, especially those in traditionally underserved communities.
James holds a BA in Psychology with a focus on Neuroscience from Salve Regina University and an MA in Biotechnology and Management from Harvard Extension School. When not at work he can be found running loops in the woods in exchange for grilled cheese, disappearing down a dirt road on a mountain bike loaded with camping gear, or recovering from those activities on his couch with a Market Basket chocolate cake.