Robert Langer

2022 Balzan Prize for Biomaterials for Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering

For pioneering research on biopolymers and biomaterials, and their synthesis, and developing the field of nanomedicine, including advances in mRNA vaccines and tissue engineering. Robert Langer’s groundbreaking discoveries have paved the way for breakthroughs in the controlled release of macromolecules, with many medical applications.

Robert Langer, born in Albany, New York in 1948, is an US citizen.

Since 2009, he has been David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was previously Institute Professor; between 1988 and 2005, he was Kenneth J. Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at MIT Department of Chemical Engineering; Whitaker College of Health Sciences, Technology, and Management, and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Since 1999 he has been Senior Lecturer on Surgery, Harvard University, Harvard Medical School.

He completed his undergraduate studies in Chemical Engineering at Cornell University (1970) and obtained his ScD. in Chemical Engineering at MIT (1974), where he became an Assistant Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry in 1978.

He has been awarded numerous leading prizes in recognition of his work, including both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011). He has been elected to the four US Academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Inventors. He holds 40 honorary degrees from universities in 15 different countries.

Key Papers:

Akinc A, Zumbuehl A, Goldberg M, Leshchiner E, Busini V, Hossain N, Bacallado S, Nguyen D, Fuller J, Alvarez R, Borodovsky A, Borland T, Constein R, de Fougerolles A, Dorkin J, Jayaprakash K, Jayaraman M, John M, Kotelianski V, Manoharan M, Nechev L, Qin J, Racie T, Raitcheva D, Rajeev K, Sah D, Soutschek J, Toudjarska I, Vornlocher HP, Zimmermann T, Langer R and Anderson, D. A combinatorial library of lipid-like materials for delivery of RNAi therapeutics. Nature Biotechnology 26: 561-569, 2008

Peer D, Karp JM, Hong S, Farokhzad OC, Margalit R and Langer R. Nanocarriers as an emerging platform for cancer therapy. Nature Nanotechnology 2, 751, 2007

Lendlein A and Langer R. Biodegradable, elastic shape memory polymers for potential biomedical applications. Science 296, 1673-1677, 2002

Niklason L, Gao J, Abbot W, Hirschi K, Houser S, Marini L and Langer R. Functional arteries grown in vitro. Science 284, 489-493, 1999

Gref R, Minamitake Y, Peracchia MT, Trubetskoy Torchilin VV and Langer R. Biodegradable long circulating polymeric nanospheres. Science 263, 1600-1603, 1994

Langer R. Drug delivery and targeting. Nature 392, 5-10, 1998

Vacanti J, Morse M, Saltzman M, Domb A, Perez-Atayde A, Langer R. Selective cell transplantation using bioabsorbable artificial polymers as matrices. J. Ped. Surg., 23: 3-9, 1988

Preis I and Langer R. Single-step immunization by sustained antigen release. Journal of Immunological Methods, 28, 193-197, 1979

Langer R and Folkman J. Polymers for the sustained release of proteins and other macromolecules. Nature 263, 797-800, 1976

Langer R, Brem H, Falterman K, Klein M and Folkman J, Isolation of a cartilage factor that inhibits tumor neovascularization. Science, 193: 70-72, 1976.

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