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Laureates / 

Robert S. Langer

Robert S. Langer is an American chemical engineer with expertise in biotechnology and biomedical engineering. He serves as an institute professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Born in Albany, New York, he studied at Milne High School before moving to Cornell University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

For his ScD, still in chemical engineering, he moved to MIT Boston where he graduated in 1974. At that point he decided to use his knowledge to work on biomedical problems and joined Judah Folkman’s lab as a postdoc to study efficient ways for drug delivery. During this time, he developed a type of polymer matrix used to deliver large molecules such as proteins inside cells.

He joined MIT as a faculty member in 1978, and since then has been working on improving drug delivery through nanoparticles, as well as developing and pursuing a strong interest for tissue engineering and other areas of biotechnology and medicine.

Langer’s research has also been translated into applications through the filing of numerous patents and the launch of several startups, most notably the company Moderna that developed mRNA vaccines for COVID 19. Langer is also the recipient of over 200 international awards and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine.