Robert S. Langer

National Medal of Science

Engineering

For his revolutionary discoveries in the areas of polymeric controlled release systems and tissue engineering and synthesis of new materials that have led to new medical treatments that have profoundly affected the well being of mankind.

National Medal of Technology and Innovation

Medicine

For inventions and discoveries that led to the development of controlled drug release systems, engineered tissues, angiogenesis inhibitors, and new biomaterials.

For his revolutionary discoveries in the areas of polymeric controlled release systems and tissue engineering and synthesis of new materials that have led to new medical treatments that have profoundly affected the well being of mankind.

For inventions and discoveries that led to the development of controlled drug release systems, engineered tissues, angiogenesis inhibitors, and new biomaterials.

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VIEW STATISTICS +

Birth
August 29, 1948
Age Awarded
58 (Science)
63 (Technology)
Country of Birth
USA
Key Contributions
Drug Delivery Systems
Tissue Engineering
Angiogenesis Inhibitors
Awarded by
George W. Bush (Science)
Barack Obama (Technology)
Education
Cornell University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Areas of Impact
Health & Medicine
Affiliations
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Other Prizes
National Inventors Hall of Fame
Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering
Priestley Medal
Lemelson-MIT Prize
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He’s been called, “a conductor of a great symphony.” Of chemical engineering, that is.

Robert S. Langer, Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, faced patent rejection five times before becoming the official inventor of controlled release for brain cancer treatments. Products based on the principles Langer developed have since been used to treat alcoholism, narcotic addiction, diabetes and other diseases.

Langer found research success by tapping smaller, hyper-focused enterprises to advance his ideas in the marketplace that have since become pharmaceutical giants.

“Do great science. Don't sacrifice publishing good science to be secretive. Then go to the next step and patent them, and do licensing and start companies. Create things that could change the world and make it a better place,” Langer told Science Magazine.

Taking his experience, Langer encourages students as “both scientists and entrepreneurs” to pursue research breakthroughs by creating their own startups, with proceeds returning to MIT.

Langer, who broke into chemistry at 11 through magic tricks, is now known for bringing his research to the masses with 1,050 patents worldwide, considered “one of history’s most prolific inventors in medicine­.” 

By Melissa Ayala

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