Distinguished Lecture: "Biomaterials and how they will change our lives", Professor Robert Langer, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering
Our research led to polymer controlled release systems for macromolecules. These enabled isolation of the first angiogenesis inhibitors (used to treat blindness and cancer), led to numerous therapies and paved the way for new nanoparticles, and microchip delivery systems. Also previously, biomaterials were generally derived from household objects, e.g., ladies girdles are the basis for artificial hearts. We proposed a new paradigm- asking what the desired biomaterial properties are from an engineering, chemistry, and biology standpoint, and then synthesizing them. Finally, by combining cells with polymers, approaches for engineering tissues (e.g., cartilage, skin, spinal cord) are being developed.
Robert S. Langer
David H. Koch Institute Professor
Dr. Langer is one of four living individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011). He is the most cited engineer in history, and his patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 300 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. Dr. Langer served as a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s SCIENCE Board from 1995 to 2002 and as its chairman from 1999 to 2002. Forbes Magazine and Bio World have named Dr. Langer as one of the 25 most important individuals in biotechnology in the world.