Robert Langer

Professor Robert Langer is one of 13 Institute Professors (the highest honor awarded to a faculty member) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Langer has written approximately 1,000 articles. He also has more than 600 issued or pending patents worldwide. Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 200 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. He served as a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s SCIENCE Board, the FDA’s highest advisory board, from 1995-2002 and as its Chairman from 1999-2002. Langer has received over 160 major awards including the 2006 United States National Medal of Science; the Charles Stark Draper Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers, and the 2008 Millennium Technology Prize, the world’s largest technology prize. He is the also the only engineer to receive the Gairdner Foundation International Award; 70 recipients of this award have subsequently received a Nobel Prize. Among numerous other awards Langer has received are the Dickson Prize for Science (2002); Heinz Award for Technology, Economy and Employment (2003); the Harvey Prize (2003); the John Fritz Award (2003) (given previously to inventors such as Thomas Edison and Orville Wright), the General Motors Kettering Prize for Cancer Research (2004); the Dan David Prize in Materials Science (2005); the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research (2005) the largest prize in the U.S. for medical research; induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (2006); the Max Planck Research Award (2008); and the Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research (2008). In 1998, he received the Lemelson-MIT prize, the world’s largest prize for invention, for being “one of history’s most prolific inventors in medicine.” In 1989 Langer was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and in 1992 he was elected to both the National Academy of Engineering and to the National Academy of Sciences. He is one of very few people ever elected to all three United States National Academies and the youngest in history (at age 43) to ever receive this distinction.

Robert Langer