Grand Challenges for Engineering  -  Mar 06, 2015

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Robert Langer

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Institute Professor

Robert S. Langer, Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), conducts research at the interface between biotechnology and materials science, with a major focus on the development of polymers for drug delivery. 

A prolific innovator and researcher, Dr. Langer has written more than 900 papers, has more than 550 issued and pending patents worldwide, and has started 25 companies on the basis of his patents during his full-time professorship.  Dr. Langer's patents have been licensed or sublicensed to more than 180 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, and medical-device companies, a number of which were launched on the basis of these patent licenses. 

Previously, Dr. Langer was a member and chairman of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Science Board.  He received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University and his Sc.D. from MIT, both in chemical engineering. 

Dr. Langer has received more than 140 major awards, including the Charles Stark Draper Prize; Gairdner Foundation International Award; Lemelson-MIT Prize; Dickson Prize for Science; Heinz Award for Technology, Economy, and Employment; Harvey Prize; John Fritz Award; General Motors Kettering Prize for Cancer Research, Dan David Prize in Materials Science, and Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research.  Dr. Langer has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame and is a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Sciences.

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