Robert Langer, Ph.D.
Dr. Langer hold the David H. Koch Institute Professorship at MIT (there are 14 Institute Professors at MIT; being an Institute Professor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member). With my researchers I have written approximately 1,119 articles, and have had approximately 774 issued and pending patents worldwide. Our patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 220 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. Over 200 people who have trained in his lab are now Professors. It has been noted that Dr. Langer is the most cited engineer in history.
Dr. Langer's research at MIT is at the interface of biotechnology and materials science. A major focus is the study and development of polymers to deliver drugs, particularly genetically engineering proteins, DNA and RNAi, continuously at controlled rates for prolonged periods of time. His work is in progress in the following areas: Investigating the mechanism of release from polymeric delivery systems with concomitant microstructural analysis and mathematical modeling; studying applications of these systems including the development of effective long-term delivery systems for insulin, anti-cancer drugs, growth factors, gene therapy agents and vaccines; developing controlled release systems that can be magnetically, ultrasonically, or enzymatically triggered to increase release rates; synthesizing new biodegradable polymeric delivery systems which will ultimately be absorbed by the body; creating new approaches for delivering drugs such as proteins and genes across the complex barriers in the body such as the blood-brain barrier, the intestine, the lung and the skin; researching new ways to create tissue and organs including creating new polymer systems for tissue engineering; stem cell research including controlling growth and differentiation; creating new biomaterials with shape memory or surface switching properties; and angiogenesis inhibition.