A few weeks ago while working on a story about a new type of gel material that could be implanted into scarred vocal chords to restore their normal function, I was pleasantly surprised to receive a call from industry legend and the father of drug delivery Robert Langer, PhD.
Langer, the David H. Koch Institute Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Cambridge), is a renowned expert in developing polymers for biomedical applications.
Admittedly, five years ago, at the start of my Medical Device Daily career, I would not have been able to fully appreciate the phone call. I would have thought he was just another scientist I was interviewing for a story. But in the past half-decade of writing for MDD I have come to realize what a big name Langer is in the industry. My phone interview with him regarding the gel implant was brief, I had already interviewed another key source for the story earlier in the day, but it was still really cool to get a call from such a well-known name.
Here’s a few biographical highlights just in case you’re scratching your head wondering who Robert Langer is (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone). Langer holds more than 760 granted or pending patents, has authored more than 1,100 scientific papers, and has participated in the founding of multiple technology companies. He has received a number of prestigious awards, including Finland’s Millennium Technology Prize for developing biomaterials for controlled drug release in 2008. The Millennium Technology Prize is the largest technology prize in the world and is presented by the president of Finland.