President and Chief Executive Officer
Ed Pope surrounds himself with photos of him standing besides Nobel laureates as well as Bob Dole, Newt Gingrich and Pete Wilson.
“I want to affect public policy, especially its impact on science, technology and business,” says Pope.
Pope, president and chief executive of Matech Inc., is making inroads in all three. In the sciences, he has edited a textbook on materials and co-edited another, developed a theory on the growth of crystal-like structures in silicon gel, and chaired or spoken at dozens of congresses and universities.
In technology, he and colleagues developed, patented and marketed a device that calibrates instruments used in biology for analyzing samples.
In the public realm, Pope is a member of the Central Committee of the California Republican Party, serves on the board of directors of the Lincoln Club of Ventura County (a Republican fundraising organization), and is a board member of the Rotary Club of Westlake Village.
“I’m active,” he deadpans.
Pope founded Matech in 1989, initially working out of a small office in his parents’ Ventura County home, where he returned to live after earning a Ph.D. in material sciences from UCLA.
“I sent out letters looking for clients, and lo and behold, I actually got a couple,” says Pope, who today holds the titles of president and CEO of Matech.
In the last three years, Pope shifted gears into biology, as the company developed a novel method of treating diabetes that could potentially reduce or eliminate the need for daily injections of insulin.
In animal testing now underway, tiny permeable beads that contain insulin-producing cells are being implanted into diabetic mice. The beads release insulin to make up for the animals’ own deficiency and are designed to eventually dissolve and be excreted from the body.
Though at least three years away from human tests, the National Institutes of Health has issued a $100,000 grant for the animal testing and another $750,000 NIH grant is expected this spring.
After eight years of hard work, “now I have the luxury to work on things totally wild,” like the insulin beads, Pope said. “I think I’ve gotten better with age.”