• Sun / 6 September 2015 / 11:07
  • Category: Science
  • News Code: 94061509321
  • Journalist : 71113

Professor Robert Langer wins Iran’s Kazemi Prize on biology

جایزه بزرگداشت دکتر سعید کاظمی آشتیانی

TEHRAN (ISNA)- American Professor Robert S. Langer, one of the 25 most important individuals in biotechnology in the world, received Kazemi Prize in a ceremony in Royan Research Center, Tehran.

He is one of 4 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).

Robert Samuel Langer, Jr. FREng (born August 29, 1948 in Albany, New York) is an American engineer, scientist, entrepreneur, inventor and the David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He was formerly the Germeshausen Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and maintains activity in the Department of Chemical Engineering and the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT. He is also a faculty member of the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

He is a widely recognized and cited researcher in biotechnology, especially in the fields of drug delivery systems and tissue engineering. He has been cited over 169,000 times and has an h-index of 210 as of April 3, 2015. His most cited paper included in his Google Scholar h-index and adding the citation for that paper brings his citation count to over 174,000 and his h-index to 211.

Langer is recognized as the most cited engineer in history. Langer's research laboratory at MIT is the largest biomedical engineering lab in the world, maintaining over $10 million in annual grants and over 100 researchers. Langer is also currently on the board of directors at Bind Therapeutics and Ocata Therapeutics.

In 2015, Langer was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the most influential prize in the world for engineering.

Langer was born August 29, 1948 in Albany, New York, USA. He is an alumnus of The Milne School and received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University in chemical engineering. He earned his Sc.D. in chemical engineering from MIT in 1974.

His dissertation was entitled "Enzymatic regeneration of ATP" and completed under the direction of Clark K. Colton. From 1974–1977 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow for cancer researcher Judah Folkman at the Children's Hospital Boston and at Harvard Medical School. Langer credits Folkman as a fantastic role model. Langer and his wife, Laura, a fellow MIT graduate, have three children.

Langer is widely regarded for his contributions to medicine and biotechnology. He is considered a pioneer of many new technologies, including controlled release systems and transdermal delivery systems, which allow the administration of drugs or extraction of analytes from the body through the skin without needles or other invasive methods.

Langer worked with Judah Folkman at Boston Children's Hospital to isolate the first angiogenesis inhibitor, a macromolecule to block the spread of blood vessels in tumors.

Macromolecules tend to be broken down by digestion and blocked by body tissues if they are injected or inhaled, so finding a delivery system for them is difficult. Langer's idea was to encapsulate the angiogenesis inhibitor in a noninflammatory synthetic polymer wafer that could be implanted in the tumor and control the release of the inhibitor. He eventually invented polymer systems that would work. This discovery is considered to lay the foundation for much of today's drug delivery technology.

He also worked with Henry Brem of the Johns Hopkins University Medical School on a drug-delivery system for the treatment of brain cancer, to deliver chemotherapy directly to a tumor site. The wafers or chips that he and his teams have designed have become increasingly more sophisticated, and can now deliver multiple drugs, and respond to stimuli.

Langer is regarded as the founder of tissue engineering in regenerative medicine. He and the researchers in his lab have made advances in tissue engineering, such as the creation of engineered blood vessels and vascularized engineered muscle tissue.

Bioengineered synthetic polymers provide a scaffolding on which new skin, muscle, bone, and entire organs can be grown. With such a substrate in place, victims of serious accidents or birth defects could more easily grow missing tissue. Such polymers can be biocompatible and biodegradable.

Langer holds more than 1060 granted or pending patents. He has also authored over 1,300 scientific papers and has participated in the founding of multiple technology companies.

Langer is the youngest person in history to be elected to all three American science academies: the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. He was also elected as a charter member of National Academy of Inventors. He was appointed an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2010.

Langer has received more than 220 major awards. He is one of four living individuals to have received both the U.S. National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

• 2015: Langer was named Cornell University's 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year.

• 2015: Langer received the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the most influential prize in the world for engineering.

• 2014: Langer received the Kyoto Prize

• 2014: Langer was awarded the $3 million Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for his work.

• 2014: The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) selected Robert Langer as the winner of the 2014 Biotechnology Heritage Award for significant contribution to the growth of biotechnology.

• 2013: Langer was awarded the Wolf Prize in Chemistry for conceiving and implementing advances in polymer chemistry that provide both controlled drug-release systems and new biomaterials.

• 2013: Langer received the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation from President Obama. He had previously received the United States National Medal of Science, in 2006, from President George W. Bush.

• 2012: Langer was awarded the Priestley Medal, the highest honor conferred by the American Chemical Society (ACS), for distinguished service in the field of chemistry.

• 2012: Langer was awarded the Wilhelm Exner Medal.

• 2012: Langer received the Perkin Medal, recognized as the highest honor given for outstanding work in applied chemistry in the United States.

• 2011: Langer received the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize

• 2011: Langer was awarded The Economist's Innovation award in the category of bioscience for his proven successes in drug-delivery and tissue engineering.

• 2010: Langer was appointed an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

• 2008: Langer was awarded Finland's Millennium Technology Prize for developing innovative biomaterials for controlled drug release.

• 2008: Langer received the Prince of Asturias Award for Scientific Research

• 2008: Langer received the Max Planck Research Award 2008

• 2002: Langer received the Charles Stark Draper Prize (considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for engineers).

• 2002 Langer received the Dickson Prize in science

He is also founder of various biotech companies.

Kazemi Prize is an international Prize which was established in 2010 to respect the efforts and revive the memories of Dr Saeid Kazemi Ashtiani; the late founder of Royan Institute.

Kazemi Prize is awarded to a scientist or scientists who have made an outstanding contribution to biological sciences and health promotion. It shall consist of a medal, a diploma, and a cash award.

The Prize is awarded once a year during the Royan International Research Award prize ceremony in Islamic Republic of Iran.

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