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Robert S. Langer
Millennium Technology Prize winner
Robert Langer.jpg
Year awarded 2008
Invention Innovative biomaterials
Prize presented by Tarja Halonen
Previous laureate Shuji Nakamura
Following laureate Will be announced in 2010

Robert S. Langer (born August 29, 1948 in Albany, New York) an engineer and an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was formerly the Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and maintains activity in the department of chemical engineering and the department of biological engineering at MIT. He is also a faculty member of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. He is a widely recognized and cited researcher in biotechnology, especially in the fields of drug delivery systems and tissue engineering. Dr. Langer's research laboratory at MIT is the largest biomedical engineering lab in the world, maintaining about $6 million in annual grants and over 100 researchers.[1]

Langer's is widely regarded for his contributions to medicine and the emerging fields of biotechnology. He is considered a pioneer of many new technologies, including transdermal delivery systems, which allow the administration of drugs or extraction of analytes from the body through the skin without needles or other invasive methods. He and the researchers in his lab have also made advances in tissue engineering, such as the creation of vascularized engineered muscle tissue and engineered blood vessels.

Langer is a prolific inventor and holds more than 600 granted or pending patents[2] He has also authored more than 1,000 scientific papers and has participated in the founding of multiple technology companies. He has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science, the 10th Annual Heinz Award in the category of Technology, the Economy and Employment[3], the Charles Stark Draper Prize, the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research and the Millennium Technology Prize in 2008. Langer is also the youngest person in history (at 43) to be elected to all three American science academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Langer received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University in chemical engineering. He earned his Sc.D. in chemical engineering from MIT in 1974. His dissertation was entitled "Enzymatic regeneration of ATP" and completed under the direction of Clark K. Colton. From 1974–1977 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow for cancer researcher Judah Folkman at the Children's Hospital Boston and at Harvard Medical School.

Robert Langer and his wife, Laura, a fellow MIT graduate, have three children.

Langer has honorary degrees from a number of universities from around the world: 1996 ETH Zürich, 1997 Technion, Université catholique de Louvain, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of Liverpool, 2005 University of Uppsala, Pennsylvania State University, University of Nottingham, 2006 Albany Medical College, Northwestern University, Yale University, and Harvard University (06/04/2009).


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