Robert S. Langer, Sc.D., is the David H. Koch Institute Professor 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). Dr. Langer has written more than 1,180 articles. He also has approximately 800 issued and pending patents worldwide. Dr. Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to more than 250 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. He is the most cited engineer in history.
Dr. Langer is also an academic co-founder and Director of Moderna Therapeutics, and serves (or has served) as a member of the Board of Directors of many entities, including Living Proof, Momenta, and Frequency Therapeutics.
He served as a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s SCIENCE Board, the FDA’s highest advisory board, from 1995 to 2002, and as its Chairman from 1999 to 2002.
Dr. Langer has received over 250 major awards including the 2006 United States National Medal of Science; the Charles Stark Draper Prize, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineer; the 2008 Millennium Prize, the world’s largest technology prize; and the 2012 Priestley Medal, the highest award of the American Chemical Society. He is the also the only engineer to receive the Gairdner Foundation International Award; 72 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 Dr. 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.